British eventing star Mary King has spoken to British Eventing, the national governing body of the sport, about the loss of her champion horse Call Again Cavalier. The horse is suspected to have broken his femur while negotiating the second part of a combination corner jump during the indoor "cross country" phase of the inaugural Express Eventing competition in the huge Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Sunday.
You can read her statement here.
Horse and Hound, the British news weekly of horse sports, reports that, while the event did not officially report that the horse had been put down, Mary went before a crowd of concerned fans who flocked to the stable area and personally and informally announced the horse's death.
No details of the exact nature and extent of the horse's injury have been released. King told Horse and Houndthat she and the owners only knew of the terrible pain the horse was in and made the decision to have him put down.
Mary King and Call Again Cavalier were immensely popular with the public in Britain. When King entered the arena on the horse for her round, the building erupted into a resounding ovation before they even began. The pair had won medal honors for Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games, European Championships, and Olympics. Mary's non-privileged background and easygoing style have made her a role model for many aspiring riders and competitors.
Call Again Cavalier was Mary's comeback horse, bringing her back into the medals after she broke her neck in a fall five years ago. At age 47, she must now start yet again.
Click here to read about more about Call Again Cavalier's final day and see video of their performance.