by Fran Jurga | 30 November 2008 | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
At the inaugural Express Eventing all-star competition in Cardiff, Wales today, the huge audience in the stadium was stunned as one of the world's great event horses crashed on a corner jump. Mary King's Call Again Cavalier was taken from the arena in an equine ambulance, attended by a veterinarian.
Word later tonight was that he had been euthanized. Details will be available later.
"Many people were crying when Cavy fell," wrote one commentor on the Times of London web site. Only eight of the 19 horses competing were able to finish the cross-country phase.
The event was the first of its kind in Britain and included dressage to music, show jumping, and then a timed "pit stop" tack change for the indoor cross-country.
This YouTube video, captured by a spectator, shows the great horse's final round.
Call Again Cavalier was bred by Noel Walsh of County Carlow, Ireland; he was by the Holsteiner stallion Cavalier Royale, out of My Woodward Lady VII. The 16.2hh bay gelding was 15 years old and owned by Edwin and Sue Davies and Janette Chin.
King's medal collection includes five team golds - one from the World Equestrian Games and four from European Championships. She has also ridden in five Olympics and won Team Bronze in Hong Kong riding Call Again Cavalier. She is 47, and has stated without hesitation that Call Again Cavalier is the best horse she has ever ridden.
Mary King made an incredible comeback in the sport after breaking her neck in 2002. She had been with Call Again Cavalier since 2005.
Read more about Mary King and Call Again Cavalier at this link.