WSF Carthago dies following Badminton cross-country injury


Irish sport horse gelding WSF Carthago has died as a result of injuries sustained during the cross-country phase of the Badminton Horse Trials in Britain at the weekend.

Carthago was transported from the course and treated at Badminton’s veterinary clinic before being admitted to hospital for surgery.  “The extent of injury found in surgery meant successful repair was not possible,” the event organisers said in a statement.

No further details about the nature of the injury have been released.

It is the third cross-country horse death this year following Bold Tiger in the US in April, and Oratorio in Britain in March.

Badminton was Carthago’s third five-star event. The 13-year-old ridden by Fiona Kashel was 36th equal after the dressage phase and the combination was second out on the cross-country. They were clear up to the 26th obstacle, the Jubilee Clump Brush, where Kashel was unseated. Kashel withdrew her second horse, Creevagh Silver de Haar, from the event.

Carthago, previously named WSF Cooley Customer, was bred in Ireland at Waterfall Stud in Co Cork by Francis Mulvihill. He was by the Holsteiner stallion Cobra and out of Enigma, by the Thoroughbred stallion Viking. He had been owned by Fiona and her father, Frank Breach, since 2015.

Carthago’s first five-star event was at Luhmuhlen in Germany last year, where he finished seventh. Also last year, the combination was fifth in the CCI4* long-format in Ballindenisk, Ireland. Earlier top 10 finishes include Barbury Castle (4*)  in 2021, Blenheim (3*) and Brightlight Park (2*) in 2018.

Badminton was won by Rosalind Canter and Lordships Gruffalo (35.3), with Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class second (50.3), and Ireland’s Austin O’Connor third on Colorado Blue (51.9). The winner led from start to finish; O’Connor made a huge recovery after being 34th equal after dressage.

On cross-country day, there were 28 starters who were either withdrawn or eliminated on the course, and another six were withdrawn after the dressage. None of the finishers were within the set time. It left 30 finishers to complete the showjumping phase of the original 64 starters.

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