Opposition Buzz, the popular multi-medalled event horse known as Dodi at home, has died “suddenly and unexpectedly” just seven weeks into his retirement.
His rider Nicola Wilson announced the news this afternoon (Sunday 9 November), saying: “Our beloved Dodi sadly passed away yesterday after several weeks of enjoying his well-deserved retirement. He had a seizure in the morning and was put to sleep on veterinary advice.
“A shock to us all — a very special horse who will be missed beyond belief. He made so much possible and opened so many doors for me. Rest in peace Dodi and thank you.”
Opposition Buzz was the pathfinder at four consecutive championships for the British team. He took team gold at the 2009 European Championships in Fontainebleau and the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, as well as team silver at the 2012 Olympics (pictured right) and team bronze at the 2011 European Championships in Luhmühlen.
The 17-year-old gelding by Fleetwater Opposition was homebred by his owner Rosemary Search out of the Java Tiger mare Jungle Bee. Last year was his final season at the top level and he spent this summer competing successfully at CIC3* level, including winning the flagship class at Hopetoun in June.
His last British Eventing competition was at Allerton Park in September, when he finished second in the advanced. Connections announced his retirement from the sport the night before, leading to a strong turnout of fans at the event. Nicola said that Opposition Buzz would not know when was the right time to stop, so they had to make the decision for him.
Opposition Buzz will always be remembered for his unique “up and down” jumping style. He was one of the most consistent and fastest cross-country horses of recent times. He had a huge fan base, who will be devastated by this news.
During his career, he accrued 2324 British Eventing points and completed 11 four-stars. His best individual results were fifth at Burghley in 2008 and seventh at Badminton in 2008 and 2011.