Eventing stallion Chili Morning has died suddenly at the age of 20 after collapsing in his field.
The stallion, who had been retired from stud duties, had “been hacking as normal yesterday (August 25), and was in his turnout paddock when he collapsed,” said Christopher Stone, who co-owned Chilli Morning with his wife, Lisa. “He died instantly.”
He said Chilli Morning left them with the best memories over his 10-year eventing career. He started out with Nick Gauntlett in 2006, who took him to five-star level before William Fox-Pitt took over the reins in 2012.
Gauntlett said he was devastated at the news. “Chill has a special place in my heart. He was such a huge part of my career and a great character. He gave so much to so many and was loved by everyone.”
Chilli Morning amassed 1716 BE points, seven international wins and 49 top ten placings. Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning collected the individual bronze medal at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and helped GB to team silver. In 2015, he became the first stallion to win the Badminton Horse Trials.
Twelve months later the combination was selected as part of the team who would head to the Olympic Games in Rio where they finished 12th individually. Rio was the final event in Chilli Morning’s illustrious career.
He stood at West Kington Stud before his retirement from breeding duties.
Fox-Pitt described Chilli Morning as “a truly fantastic horse”.
“How lucky was I to have ridden him for five years? As the first-ever stallion to win Badminton he will never be forgotten, and he really deserves his place in the history books. What a life he has had and just how much he gave me and everyone here at Fox-Pitt Eventing.
“Thank goodness he was a stallion and we have therefore got his progeny to follow. I have got a foal arriving next year by him so it will be lovely to have the memory continued.”
Chilli Morning has proved himself a successful sire, and many of his offspring are making their way up the levels. The Stones have three clones of Chilli Morning.
Chilli Morning was bred in Germany by Rainer Schicketanz, by the thoroughbred stallion Phantomic, a son of Secreto (by Northern Dancer). His dam was Korall, by Kolibre. The 17hh stallion was Brandenburg registered, and was approved for trakehner breeding and classed as an elite stallion with Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain (SHBGB). His sire sons include Party Trick, who stands at Nick Gauntlett’s Chescombe Farm.