Cross-country accident claims life of Todd’s WEG bronze medal horse

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A last-minute prayer did the trick for Brazil's Gabriel Figueiredo Silva Cury, who went clear on Grass Valley.
Grass Valley and  Gabriel Figueiredo Silva Cury.

A horse formerly ridden by New Zealand eventer Mark Todd and a leading prospect for the Rio Olympics, has died in a cross-country accident in Britain.

Grass Valley was being ridden in the CIC3* at Belton Horse Trials by Brazil’s Gabriel Cury when he broke a fetlock at the solid corner after the seventh fence on the course.

The 16-year-old had been ridden by Todd at many international events, including the 2010 World Equestrian Games, where they were on New Zealand’s bronze medal winning team.

Todd said: “We lost a dear friend in Grass Valley this weekend. An absolute legend and gentleman. A huge loss for Gabriel.”

Todd coaches the Brazilian team and Cury took over the ride on Grass Valley in the 2013 season. Their best placing together was fifth at Bramham in the under-25 3* in 2014.

Grass Valley was first ridden in Britain by Eric Smiley, and subsequent riders included Jules Stiller Cournane.

Bred in Ireland by John A Cogan of Sligo, Grass Valley was by the thoroughbred stallion Legal Pressure and out of Connaught Gold, by the Irish Draft stallion Clover Hill.

Mark Todd and Grass Valley at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.
Mark Todd and Grass Valley at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.
Mark Todd and Grass Valley qualified for the Olympics with their seventh placing.
Mark Todd and Grass Valley.

 

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