A county show winner has died and another horse killed after the pair crashed into each other in their paddock.
Owner Michelle Lomas turned out Kavanaghs Royal Fanfare (Leo) on 3 May, and watched as he and his field companion, Jack, galloped happily towards each other, which led to disaster.
“They collided, stumbled over one another and rolled on the ground,” said Michelle. “I thought they were both dead.”
Jack — Beverley Mayall’s four-year-old Fell pony whom Michelle was due to start competing this season — died instantly.
But although the eight-year-old Leo did get back on his feet, he had broken a leg and had to be put down.
“The vet couldn’t believe it,” said Michelle. “He’d seen horses collide before, but never with that result. It wasn’t slippery, it wasn’t their first turn-out — they had been going out every day.
“I was getting excited about him going to Royal International this year, but now those dreams are over.”
Michelle bought the 15hh as a £3,000 yearling from breeder Xanthe Barker-Wild. He was by Starlyte Royal Fanfare out of 2000 Horse of the Year Show pony champion Kavanaghs Dream.
The pair went to the Royal International in 2012 and finished 5th in the amateur hack class.
Leo had since been campaigned by Leigh Anne McNamee Sloggett and Leigh Dale, standing champion in both his classes at the North of England Show last month (report, 24 April).