Eric Lamaze’s great showjumper Hickstead has died in Verona.
The pair had been taking part in the fourth round of the World Cup and had just completed their round when the 15-year-old stallion collapsed.
The competition was halted as the horse ambulance was brought in and Canadian Eric Lamaze was led out of the arena.
As a mark of respect to the reigning Olympic champions, the riders asked that the competition be halted and all the competitors then filed into the arena – many in tears – for a minute’s silence and for tributes to be paid.
Hickstead was one of the greatest horses the sport has ever seen – as well as taking individual gold in Beijing in 2008 and countless grands prix and Nations Cup victories, he jumped four clear rounds in the final of the World Equestrian Games in 2010.
The press office at Jumping Verona issued the following statement:
“Today at 15.25, as he was leaving the arena after his successful jumping round Hickstead, the horse ridden by Canadian Eric Lamaze, suddenly collapsed. The veterinary services were immediately in attendance, but unfortunately the horse was already dead.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled in the coming days.
Veronafiere, Organising Committee, were fully supportive of the request of the riders not to continue the competition and would like to express their affection and love towards one of the greatest horses in the history of the sport and his rider Eric Lamaze.
A minute’s silence was held in the arena out of respect.
Watch Hickstead jumping…