Top eventing stallion battling serious illness: ‘he’s fought like a lion’

  • French event rider Tom Carlile’s double Barbury winner Upsilon is battling a serious illness.

    The grey stallion, who won the CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) class at the Wiltshire event in 2017 and the CIC3* Event Rider Masters section the following year, has been critically ill with a suspected mutation of the herpes virus.

    Owner/rider Tom said the past 10 days “have been a nightmare”.

    He added they opened Upsilon’s stable door last Thursday lunchtime to find him in a “feverish state”.

    “He was taken into the Meslay Clinic in Maine, who put all their resources into trying to save him,” said the Frenchman.

    “For several days he has fought like a lion against an undetectable evil. This evil that has severely affected his neuro-motor system.”

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    Tom said Upsilon returned home on Tuesday (19 March) still feeling side-effects, but has overcome what appears to be a mutant form of herpes virus.

    The European team bronze medallist said his “heart is torn” to see the horse in this state, but they are pleased to have him home and is “daring to pray” that he may one day jump again.

    “Would such a nightmare not deserve a miracle? Upsilon we love you,” he added.

    The talented 11-year-old, by Canturo, is one of the sport’s most exciting stallions currently competing and has a phenomenal international record.

    He has won nine of his 18 starts, including four CIC3*s — the two Barburys, Blenheim 2016 and Millstreet 2018.

    He won a silver medal in the World Championships for young horses at Le Lion in 2015. The following year he was runner-up at Gatcombe CIC3* and Saumur CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) and also came third at Chatsworth CIC3* in 2017.

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