This post will send chills through the horse world. I have just learned that the Grand Prix dressage mare Coco Chanel, owned and ridden by Tami Hoag of Wellington, Florida, was euthanized this week.
According to a letter from Hoag published on the Dressage Daily web site, the Rhinelander mare was injured while being treated for a tendon injury in an underwater treadmill therapy unit. She was transported to and euthanized at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Center in Ringoes, New Jersey the following day. Coco Chanel was examined by leading surgeon Patricia Hogan VMD, ACVS of New Jersey Equine Clinic and USEF veterinarian Timothy Ober DVM, among others.
Had the mare not suffered the tendon injury, she would have been competing at the nearby USEF headquarters at Gladstone, where the Collecting Gaits Farm Festival of Champions is underway this week to select the US team horses for the dressage competition at the upcoming Pan Am Games in Brazil.
Ms. Hoag is indeed "the same" Tami Hoag who is one of the bestselling mystery/thriller/suspense genre writers in the world. Her brilliant novel "Dark Horse" paints a disturbing picture of a serial killer at work set against the very realistically described backdrop of hunter/jumper and dressage shows in Wellington, Florida. Her new book, The Alibi Man, is a sequel to Dark Horse, and revolves around the murder of the groom at the farm where the protaganist dressage-riding ex-cop, Elena Estes, is holed up to recover from mental stress after her mishap on the job as a detective. The new book moves over to the polo fields of Wellington.
To quote Elena: Early on in my life I came to the conclusion that my spirituality was something uniquely and privately my own, something I could find deep within a small, quiet space in the very center of my being. Some people find that place through meditation or yoga or prayer.I find that place within me when I am on a horse.
Learn more about Elena Estes and Tami Hoag at her author's web site on the Random House web site. A detailed horse-related of Hoag is published at http://www.horsesdaily.com/whoswho/hoag_tami/hoag_tami1.html
Thanks to Sandy Johnson for sharing the news about Coco Chanel and to Dressagedaily.com for posting the letter. I am sure that more information will be available later.