Two horses die during US horse trials

Conair and Mark Todd at Blenheim in 2012.
Conair and Mark Todd at Blenheim in 2012. © Mike Bain

Two horses collapsed and died after competing at The Fork Horse Trials in Norwood, North Carolina in the USA at the weekend.

Conair, ridden by Will Coleman and owned by the Conair Syndicate, collapsed and died at about 9.45am on Sunday. The combination had fallen on the Advanced cross-country course, and Conair ran back towards the barns. Coleman sustained a broken collarbone in the fall.

The 11-year-old stopped and was then transported to the barn for veterinary evaluation.

After the preliminary veterinary exam was completed, Conair collapsed and died. His cause of death has not yet been determined.

Conair, a 17hh gelding registered in the Anglo European Studbook, was by Concorde and out of Fancy Nancy. He was formerly ridden by Britain’s Rodney Powell, who took the horse to 3*. Conair was second in the CCI3*at Blenheim in 2012 with Mark Todd. His last event in Britain with Powell was in June 2013.

On Saturday, Powderhound, owned and ridden by Andrew McConnon, collapsed and died while returning to the stables after completing the CIC2* jumping phase at about 1.45pm.

No details have been released about his cause of death.

Powderhound was an Australian bred thoroughbred by Peace Command and out of Alcitram. The 15-year-old was campaigned in Australia by Hamish Cargill from 2006 to 2010, when he was sold to Arden Wildasin. He had been with McConnon since March 2013.

Powerhound – known as Carlos – was only with McConnon for a short time, “but he was very much loved and very much appreciated for the warhorse he was. He was a wonderful event horse that knew his job and did it well, and we were all looking forward to watching their partnership grow. This tragedy is once again a reminder that we are so lucky to have horses in our lives, and must appreciate them every moment of every day,” a statement from Andrew McConnon’s team said.

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