Horse collapses, dies on Kentucky cross-country course


Canadian event horse King Pin collapsed and died on the cross-country course at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on Saturday.

King Pin, ridden by Mike Winter, collapsed while negotiating fence 10 and died at the scene. Winter was evaluated by medical personnel at the scene and sent to Georgetown Community Hospital for further evaluation and released. He chose not to ride his second horse.

King Pin and Winter were in 17th place after the dressage.

King Pin was a 13-year-old Irish Sporthorse owned by Winter and the King Pin Syndicate.

Veterinary and medical personnel were in attendance at the time of the fall. The cause of the horse’s death is still under investigation. A preliminary report of the examination of the horse’s body showed that he had bled into his abdomen.

“We are not able to speculate on the cause of the bleeding. A complete evaluation will be performed,” said Dr Catherine Kohn, the veterinary delegate.

Last year two horses died during the cross-country of the event. Frodo Baggins and The Quiet Man died as a result of injuries sustained in falls.

Event horse King Pin died of rare condition
April 28, 2009
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-placed Canadian Eventing Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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

“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.”

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