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‘Devastated and thankful’: Edward Gal’s first top horse dies aged 27

The horse who kickstarted Edward Gal’s international career, KWPN stallion Lingh has died, aged 27. By Flemmingh out of a Columbus mare, Lingh was Edward’s first national team horse, and the horse with whom he won his first championship medals.

“Lingh was a very special horse. I owe him so much. So many great memories I have of him. I’m thankful he came into my life,” said Edward. “We are so devastated and so thankful in the same moment.”

The pair made their championship debut at the 2003 European Championships at Hickstead, and went on to be selected for the Athens Olympics a year later, but were replaced at the last minute when Lingh sustained an injury before travelling.

They rose to further fame in 2005, beating Anky van Grunsven and Salinero to win the grand prix at the World Cup final in Las Vegas, though they were second to Anky in the freestyle, in a repeat of the result from the previous year’s final in Dusseldorf, Germany.

They helped claim team silver for the Netherlands at the 2005 European Championships, also finishing fourth overall individually. Edward and Lingh added to their championship medal tally a year later, as they won team silver at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.

In 2006, Lingh was sold to American rider Karin Reid Offield, who competed him on the USA circuit for two years. His final show was at Loxahatchee, Florida, in February 2008.

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Following his retirement from competition, the KWPN stallion went on to have a successful breeding career at Gestut Birkhof in Germany; among his most successful offspring is top British rider Richard Davison’s international grand prix horse Bubblingh.

“Lingh, thank you for all the wonderful rides and the time spent around the world with you,” said owner Karin. “Owning a horse that is on the world’s stage is wonderful. Their lives become yours and all the friends that love Lingh become your friends.

“We allowed Lingh to go for the green, green fields without the constraint of a stable. He had a robust summer and always awakened Gestut Birkhof stable with his calling – every morning. The stable is quiet today.”

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