Horse euthanized after competing in WEG endurance race

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A horse that competed in last week’s World Equestrian Games endurance race was euthanized Friday for kidney problems, according to a release from media representatives with the games.

The horse, named Barack Obama, was ridden by Team New Zealand’s Jenny Champion in the endurance championship, which took place last week Wednesday. The race was canceled by event organizers due to concerns with heat and humidity, as well as the condition of the course following rainfall that day.

The horse, a 20-year-old Anglo-Arab gelding, was taken to the endurance treatment clinic after being transported back from the second loop of the 120 km ride. He was treated for kidney problems on-site at the Tryon International Equestrian Center — where WEG is taking place through Sunday — and then transferred to the Tryon Equine Hospital for further treatment.

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The horse’s owner, Mark Round, in consultation with the athlete and veterinarians, elected for euthanasia on Friday.

In line with the Fédération Equestre Internationale veterinary regulations, a post mortem will be conducted, and samples will be taken from the horse.

The horse competed in international endurance events since 2009, and had 16 FEI event starts, including six 160 km rides. Champion began riding the horse in 2014; and together the partnership had won six times.

Wednesday’s ride was canceled due to the combination of extreme heat and humidity, an unusually high number of horses displaying clinical signs of metabolic issues and the additional exertion required of the horses following heavy rainfall, representatives said. The cancelation followed a restart of the race, after several riders were misdirected on the trail shortly after setting off that morning.