Injuries claim lives of two horses on Bramham cross-country


Two horses have died as the result of injuries sustained on the cross-country phase of Britain’s Bramham International Horse Trials.

Both horses, Ventura de la Chaule and Ms Poppins, were competing in the long-format four-star CCI section at the West Yorkshire event.

Ventura de la Chaule, ridden by Japan’s Toshiyuki Tanaka and owned by the Japanese Equestrian Federation, was euthanised after an accident at fence 7B, the Bramham Leap, whilst competing in the CCI-4*-L section.

The Selle Français gelding, by Diamant de Semilly and from the Hand in Glove mare Katernazur, was 13 years old. He was previously ridden by Nicolas Touzaint, from 2015 to 2017, and they finished 11th in the 2016 World Championship for young horses at Le Lion d’Angers.

Ventura de la Chaule was bought by the Japanese Equestrian Federation in 2017. Arsushi Negishi was his first Japanese rider, and the combination was fifth at an Olympic qualifier in Saumur. Bramham was the third FEI-level start for Tanaka and Ventura de la Chaule, with earlier starts at Ballindenisk in Ireland and Houghton Hall in Britain this season.

Tanaka was fifth on his second horse, Swiper, following the cross-country phase.

Ms Poppins, ridden by Alexandra Knowles of the US, had been retired on the course between fences and was transported back to the stables by horse ambulance. The 11-year-old Westfalian mare was assessed by the veterinary team and, as a result of irreparable injuries, the decision was taken to euthanise her.

Knowles said the traumatic injury occurred near the end of the course. “After several opinions from top vets and surgeons, our team decided the most humane decision for her was to let her go. Everyone at AK Eventing loved this little mare, and she will be missed dearly by me, grooms, and her owners, Jim and Katie O’Brien.”

German-bred Ms Poppins was by Congress and from the Champion du Lys mare Copa Cabana. She had been owned by Jim and Katherine O’Brien since 2017, starting out in the US with Knowles at one-star level.

Exactly one-third of the 63 starters in the CCI-4*-L section were either eliminated or retired on the cross-country, with 42 left to go forward for the final showjumping phase.

The casualties in the CCI4*-L included French rider Stanislas de Zuchowicz (FRA), who fell at fence two with Covadys de Triaval. De Zuchowicz was taken to hospital for precautionary measures and discharged on Sunday morning. Covadys de Triaval was uninjured.

In the U25 CCI4*-L, British rider Alisa Wates fell from Woodlands Persuasion at fence 17. The medical team onsite transferred her to hospital for investigation where she was admitted overnight. She was reported to be feeling well on Sunday morning and according to her mum, Pip, was “keen to get back home to her team of horses”.

• Ten years ago this week, two horses died at Bramham in West Yorkshire. Jagganath, ridden by Michael Jackson, and Lead the Way, ridden by Clea Phillipps, both fatally collapsed, with neither incident involving falls at jumps. Jagganath finished the competition without penalty to be in eighth place, but collapsed after the finish. Lead the Way died after fence 13, the Woodhead Seeds Hollow. He jumped the fence and then collapsed as he jumped the ‘A’ element of fence 14, still part of the Woodhead Seeds Hollow.

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