‘What a sad way to end a great life’: medal-winning horse dies in freak accident caused by low-flying jet

  • Multiple medal-winning Danish dressage horse Horsebo Smarties has died as a result of a freak accident caused by a low-flying jet plane.

    The 22-year-old gelding, who won Paralympic, world and European medals with Stinna Tange Kaastrup, had been retired since 2018 with his owner/breeder Helle Kristiansen. It is understood that he sustained fatal injuries when he was spooked by the plane.

    “I’m extremely heartbroken as I learn today that Smarties has died as the result of a freak accident due to a low flying F-16 jet,” Stinna said. “What a sad way to end such a great life.”

    Smarties, a Danish warmblood by Gribaldi, was competed to grand prix level by Nathalie zu Sayn. He moved to young Danish rider Amanda Overgaard; the combination were twice on the Danish team that took bronze at the junior European Championships, in 2013 and 2014.

    Stinna took on the ride and between 2016 and 2018, the pair won 13 classes together, including two individual gold medals at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, two bronzes at the 2016 Paralympics and individual gold and bronze, and team silver, at the 2017 Europeans.

    “I owe so much to this beautiful soul who’s taken me around the world and danced with me in the biggest arenas and won countless medals,” Stinna said.

    “He was so, so kind, clever and had a heart of gold. From day one this little legless rider sat on his back, he was so protective and knew he had to take good care of me. Honestly, he was so special that it’s hard to put into words.

    “Smarties, your great legacy lives on and you’ll never be forgotten. See you on the other side, my friend. My condolences and thoughts go out to the breeder and owner of Smarties through his 22-year life.”

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