The death of 17-year old eventing legend Opposition Buzz sent shock waves around equestrian world yesterday (9 November). He was put down on veterinary advice on Saturday 8 November following a seizure. This was just seven weeks after his final eventing run, where he had finished second in an advanced section at Allerton Park.
Pathfinder at four consecutive championships for the British team, ‘Dodi’ won a full set of team medals (gold, silver and bronze) and took his rider, Nicola Wilson, to the London 2012 Olympic Games — where Britain secured silver.
Upon hearing the news, eventing fans took to social media to pay tribute to this brilliant equine athlete and celebrate his outstanding career. See what they had to say below…
Opposition Buzz fact file
- Stable name: Dodi
- Foaled: 1997
- 16.1hh black gleding by Fleetwater Opposition out of Java Tiger mare Jungle Bee
- Owned and bred by Rosemary Search
- Dodi started eventing with Tracey Dillion, who competed him up to novice
- Nicola Wilson took over the ride in 2004 and they won their first event together: a novice at Witton Castle
- Out of his 101 British Eventing starts, Dodi only faulted cross-country four times
- He was pathfinder for the British team at four consecutive championships.
- Medal-winning performances:
- Team gold 2009 European Championships, Fountainebleau
- Team gold 2010 World Equestrian Games, Kentucky
- Team bronze 2011 European Championships, Luhmühlen
- Team silver 2012 Olympics, London
- Dodi started at an impressive 12 four-star events including five Badmintons, and only didn’t complete when he suffered a rare fall at Luhmühlen in 2013
- During his career he amassed 2324 British Eventing points
- His best four-star results included fifth at Burghley in 2008 and seventh at Badminton in 2008 and 2011
He placed second in his last start, at advanced level at Allerton Park in September
- One of the fastest cross-country horses of his time, Dodi was never more than two seconds over the optimum time over all of his Badminton appearances
- Upon his retirement Nicola said: “It is his cross-country that has been amazing. I will always remember whizzing around all those cross-country tracks with ease. I will probably never have a horse quite like him again.”