Presley Boy, a 15-year-old black KWPN stallion and former 2012 Olympic hopeful for the Saudi Arabian show jumping team, is in intensive care at a Belgian equine hospital after developing laminitis following colic and endotoxemia, according to a July 11 statement from the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation.
Endotoxemia occurs when the outer cell envelope of Gram negative bacteria that normally reside in a horse’s gut and environment crosses the intestinal wall and gains access to the bloodstream, prompting systemic inflammation. Although prompt endotoxemia treatment can slow or stop the associated inflammatory cascade, laminitis remains a possible complication of the condition.
According to the statement, Presley Boy worked July 5 at the Saudi Equestrian stables in Haras de Wisbecq, Belgium, under rider Khaled Al Eid and appeared in "excellent condition." Later that evening, the horse began showing signs of illness.
"In the early hours of July 6 he was diagnosed with subacute colic with endotoxemia, which was followed by an acute phase of laminitis," the statement read. "Presley Boy was immediately transferred to an equine hospital nearby, where he is currently in intensive care and being monitored around the clock."
The statement noted that, as of July 11, Saudi Equestrian had officially withdrawn the horse from Olympic consideration due to his illness.
Al Eid and Presley Boy competed at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games, held in Lexington, Ky., and finished the competition in 12th place individually on a score of