‘Started like a dream, ended like a nightmare’: top horse recovering after colic surgery

  • Top dressage horse Tørveslettens Titanium RS2 is recovering after emergency colic surgery following his withdrawal from the freestyle at the FEI World Cup final.

    The 11-year-old gelding, ridden by Marieke van der Putten for the Netherlands, finished eighth in the grand prix on a score of 70.78% at the World Cup Dressage final in Omaha, US, but withdrew on the morning of the freestyle after showing “mild colic signs”.

    “What started like a dream ended up like a nightmare,” said Marieke.

    “We tried to do everything to make him comfortable, but sadly nothing worked for him and we had to bring him to a clinic at Iowa State University Large Animal Hospital.

    “Luckily everyone helped us, [the team were] amazing at the showground and everything was arranged in a split second so we could bring him to Iowa.

    “A big thank you to everyone (too many to mention) who helped us. We appreciated it a lot.”

    His condition did not improve and the Totilas son had to have surgery.

    “The most important thing is that he is doing fine now,” said Marieke. “Nothing is more important than for him being healthy and happy. Of course he has a long way to go but ‘Tito’ is the biggest little pretty fighter on this planet, so I am sure he will be back strong and healthy as ever.”

    Marieke also thanked Dutch team vet Edwin Enzerink, who “stayed with him the whole time and did an amazing job”, as well as groom Sanne Vondel who has been giving him “a lot of cuddles and all the love he needs and more”.

    “Let’s pray for a fast recovery so we can bring him back home soon so he can be in his own stable with all the people around him who love him most,” said Marieke.

    “It is heartbreaking to all of us not being with him.”

    Marieke and Tito were part of the fifth-placed Dutch team at the 2022 World Dressage Championships in Herning. They have broken the 80%-barrier multiple times for their grand prix freestyle performances and have numerous top international wins and placings.

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