Event horse King Pin died of rare condition

April 28, 2009

Mike Winter and Kingpin

The cause of death of the horse King Pin, who died on April 25 during the cross-country phase of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, has been established.

Dr Christiana Ober, the Canadian Eventing Team veterinarian, said King Pin suffered a hemorrhage of the large vessels in the abdomen, unrelated to any jumping effort or trauma. "This is a very rare condition and the actual cause is unknown," she said.

A similar condition claimed the event horse Tigger Too last year in the US.

Winter's partnership with the talented 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse has led to many international triumphs, including helping the Canadian Eventing Team win the silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they also finished in eighth place individually.

Winter, a native of Montreal, Quebec, but who now resides in Newnan, Georgia, and King Pin also finished in 12th at the 2008 edition of Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. With King Pin, Winter was a member of the ninth place Canadian Eventing Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"I am mourning the loss of a partner and close friend," said Winter.

Mike Winter and Kingpin
"We have lost a great horse and a superb athlete," said David O'Connor, Canadian Eventing Committee International Technical Advisor. "Our hearts go out to Mike and his family. We would also like to express our deepest condolences to the members of King Pin's syndicate and all those who participated in his wonderful career."

"Mike's relationship with King Pin was one to admire," noted Graeme Thom, Chef d'equipe of the Canadian Eventing Team. "As a pair they exemplified the true definition of partnership. King Pin represented Canada with a strong competitive spirit and will be missed greatly."

Canada has lost a world-class athlete in King Pin. He will be sadly missed, but fondly remembered has having achieved top international results for Canada.