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Hickstead, Olympic gold-medal show jumping horse, dies at FEI World Cup competition

The competition was called off at the request of the riders after the unexpected tragedy.


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Hickstead and Eric Lamaze
Eric Lamaze and Hickstead, shown here at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games where the pair won individual bronze. Photo: Leslie Potter
Update (11/10/11): Hickstead's initial necropsy report has been released. Click here to read more.

Original Article: Hickstead, the firey bay stallion ridden by Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze, has been a nearly unstoppable force in international competition for the past several years, but Hickstead’s career came to an abrupt and shocking end on Sunday when he collapsed at the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping competition in Italy.

The 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood had just completed a course with no apparent difficulties, then collapsed and died almost instantly. At this time, no official cause of death has been released, although it is speculated to have been a heart attack. A necropsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death.

The competitors asked that the competition be stopped in support of Lamaze and to pay their respects to the great horse.

“Shortly after finishing his round of jumping, Hickstead collapsed in the arena and died,” said John Roche, FEI Jumping Director. “As yet the cause of death is unknown, but our deepest sympathies go out to the owners, to Eric and to all the connections of one of the greatest Jumping horses of all time. Hickstead’s presence on the circuit will be very sadly missed.”

Among Hickstead’s many honors with Lamaze were an individual gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and the title of “Best Horse” at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where he was the only horse in the final day of show jumping to turn in four fault-free rounds.

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Hickstead, Olympic gold-medal show jumping horse, dies at FEI World Cup competition

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Aimee    Hudson, OH

11/8/2011 2:30:48 AM

Hickstead; you flew without wings. I, along with many other Canadians, love you. You will be missed. R.I.P.

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

11/7/2011 5:48:35 PM

What a shock! I am so sorry.

Pat    Great Falls, MT

11/7/2011 1:53:50 PM

He will be a champion jumper in heaven, in fact, he will jump the pearly gates and earn his wings!

Sheri    Vancouver, BC

11/7/2011 11:51:16 AM

This horse has single-handedly lifted Canadian Show-jumping from mediocrity to World Wide acclaimation. He brought sooooo much excitement to events for the audience and absolute abject misery to those competing against him. He can only be compared to Big Ben and Milton due to the way he effected the sport and the attention and increased fan base that happened directly because of his participation in the sport. There are not many atheletes (human or animal) that can compare.

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