US eventer Arthur has died suddenly at the age of 21 following a bout of laminitis, his rider Allison Springer has reported.
Springer broke the news on Monday, saying that Arthur was her best friend, “and over the past 16 years, he made so many of my dreams come true”.
An Irish Sport Horse, Arthur (Brandenburg’s Windstar x Kelly), was owned by the Arthur Syndicate.
Arthur had been retired at the age of 18 after he was diagnosed with a heart condition that was detected in the lead-up to the 2017 Kentucky Three-Day-Event. While initial testing was positive and it looked like he would be able to start in Lexington, it was later found that Arthur had developed an aortic regurgitation, or leakage from the aortic valve, a common degenerative problem in older horses.
The long-time fan favorite began his career in 2005. With Springer, he completed 38 of 44 FEI events they entered, with highlights including a USEF National Championship and an overall second-place finish at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in 2012.
Later that year, the duo was named to the United States Olympic Team Shortlist before going on to finish sixth at the Burghley CCI4*.
“He and I travelled the world together, competing at events that I had only dreamed of when I was younger. We had many moments of triumph, and some moments of heartbreak, but in every moment, I was always incredibly proud to be his partner, and his person. Arthur taught me what a true partnership meant and looked like, and a part of my heart will belong to him forever.”