Three-star eventing horse Walterstown Don died after collapsing between cross-country fences at the Twin Rivers horse trials in California at the weekend.
Ridden by Australian eventer Rebecca Braitling, Walterstown Don, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Don Juan De La Bouverie x Walterstown Treacy VII), collapsed between fences 18 and 19 of the CIC3* cross-country in Paso Robles. The cause of his death was unknown, pending a necropsy, Twin Rivers organisers said.
The organising committee of Twin Rivers said Braitling, who is based at Templeton Farms in California, was attended to on site and then transferred to Sierra Vista Regional Medical for further care.
Walterstown Don, whose stable name was Walter, was bred in Ireland by Daphne de Stacpoole and owned by Lauren Burnell. He was previously ridden by Burnell, Clayton Fredericks, and Michael Pollard. His first FEI starts were at Tattersalls, Ireland, and Arville, Belgium with Irish rider Diarmuid O’Brien.
In his six FEI starts with Braitling, Walterstown Don had finished in the top 10 each time. Earlier, the chestnut gelding has won a 2* contest in Temecula, California, with Burnell in November 2016, a 3* at Burnham Market in Britain in 2012, and a 2* in Sweden in 2010 with Fredericks.