Two Olympic eventing horses have been euthanised in recent days, with the loss of 2004 US team bronze medalist Carrick, and New Zealand’s Clifton Lush, who went to Rio 2016.
Clifton Lush died late last month at the age 18 after sustaining a serious injury while galloping around his paddock. He was Jock Paget’s Rio 2016 horse but was withdrawn before the start after gashing the side of his face on a pipe at the Olympic stables. He needed a two-hour operation with 100 stitches, and was unable to wear a bit afterwards.
Carrick, the mount of John Williams at the 2004 Games in Athens, was euthanised on April 14 at the age of 25 after suffering health complications. He had been cared for by Ellen Chaney, who said: “He was in no pain and it was all very peaceful. Carrick was incredible: wise, kind, arrogant, generous. He has left a huge void here.”
Carrick and Williams were 28th in the individual rankings in Athens, with the US team winning bronze. He also finished second at the Kentucky Three-Day-Event in 2002, and fourth at Burghley the following year.
Carrick was a Canadian Sport Horse, by Cozy’s Commander and out of Anita (War Issue), who was by Northern Mystic, a son of Northern Dancer.
Clifton Lush, who was owned by Lucy and Shaun Allison and Frances Stead and Russell Hall, was retired last year. Paget said his ashes are to be spread in the Allison’s orchard.
Lucy Allison, based in Hampshire in the UK, bought a half-share in Clifton Lush in February 2007 and he moved to the then UK-based New Zealand rider, Joe Meyer.
Meyer competed Clifton Lush from 2007 to 2010, taking him up the grades to 4-star level with completions at Luhmühlen and Badminton, as well as being a member of the New Zealand team at Aachen in 2009.
Jock Paget took over the ride in March 2011. Together the placed fifth at Burghley in 2011 and 2012, and 14th at Badminton, winning the British Open Eventing Championships at Gatcombe in 2013.
“He was such a legend and he was living proof that with enough heart you can do anything,” Paget said.
“I had the pleasure of working with Lush for six years and I am hugely grateful for everything he taught me and how he gave everything and then some when I needed him to, he made the biggest of tracks feel like nothing but he would never give anything away in the warm up. He was a true warrior and loved his job.
“He was retired last year with the greatest intentions and its a crying shame that this little legend won’t get the retirement he deserves.”
Clifton Lush was a New Zealand bred thoroughbred by Half Iced out of All For Love, a mare by the Canadian bred sire Le Grand Seigneur. He raced once as “Plato” in 2003, but was unplaced.