Sad loss of “amazing horse and friend” for young showjumper

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The young rider of a horse who sustained fatal injuries at a jumping competition in the US is devastated at the loss of “a member of his family”.

Lord Pizarro, ridden by Ansgar Holtgers Jr, was competing in the High Junior Jumper Classic in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, on Sunday, March 28.

The 11-year-old hanoverian gelding fell while attempting a jump. The equestrian center said the equine ambulance, veterinarians from Palm Beach Equine Clinic, and EMTs were on the scene immediately, but his injuries were deemed to be irreparable. Lord Pizarro was euthanized on site.

The center said “everything was done to ensure the comfort and safety of horse and rider.” Holtgers was examined by medics and was not injured.

German-bred Lord Pizarro was owned by Gut Einhaus LLC and Dietmar Gugler. He was by Böckmann’s Lord Pezi and from the Stakkato mare Sally W. He had several previous riders, most latterly Elisabeth Meyer (Germany) and Enrique Gonzalez, who represented Mexico.

Holtgers, 16, said he was heartbroken over the loss of Lord Pizarro. “Words cannot express my sorrow at the loss of Lord Pizarro. I feel responsible for each and every animal I take into my care and, like many of us, feel that they become members of my family.

“Lord Pizarro, you were an amazing horse and friend; I’m devastated to have lost you far too soon.”

• Just two days earlier, H&M Chilli Willi, ridden by Belgian showjumper Nicola Philippaerts, stumbled and broke his offside foreleg at the last jump of the FEI CSI5* Bainbridge 1.45m competition at Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival.

The 13-year-old holsteiner sustained “a very complicated fracture” in the accident on March 26, according to a statement from the Philippaerts’, and Nicola and his father, Ludo, had to take the difficult decision to put the horse down. 

Philippaerts and Chilli Willi had been campaigning in Florida while vying for Olympic selection.

In 2017 Chilli Willi won the Belgian Showjumping Championships. Bred in Germany, he was by Casall and from the Lord mare Caletta VIII.

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