Top British eventer Spring Along killed at Gatcombe

March 29, 2011

Reigning British Open Eventing Champion Spring Along died in an accident on the cross-country at a one-day-event at Gatcombe on Sunday.

Spring Along, ridden by Daisy Berkeley (nee Dick), is believed to have had a heart attack just before the 23rd fence, a double of steps, two fences from home at the Gloucestershire event.

The event was held up for about 20 minutes.

Spring Along, 18, is suspected to have also broken his neck when he fell on top of the first step. He was dead when veterinarians arrived at the fence. Berkeley sustained cuts and bruises in the accident.

Spring Along had represented Britain four times at senior level. The bay Irish gelding won the British Open title at Gatcombe's Autumn event with Berkeley. The combination completed Badminton six times and was third in the four-star event last year. He was due to be retired at Badminton this year. He was also fourth at Barbury Castle (CIC3*) last year.

Spring Along - known as "Pod" at home - was owned by Daisy Berkeley and her mother, Caroline Dick.

British Eventing's Chief Executive, Mike Etherington-Smith said: "It really is such sad news. Spring Along was one of the best Event horses of recent times, his fantastic record speaks for itself. Our thoughts are with Daisy, her mother Caroline and all involved with this fabulous horse."