Acute Aortic Rupture Blamed for Hickstead’s Death

An acute aortic rupture caused show jumping champion Hickstead’s death during a Nov. 6 competition in Italy.
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An acute aortic rupture caused show jumping champion Hickstead’s death during a Nov. 6 competition in Italy, a necropsy has revealed. The results of the post-mortem examination were revealed during a press conference held in Canada.

Ridden by the current No. 1 international show jumper, Eric Lamaze from Canada, the 15-year-old bay KWPN stallion collapsed in the Rolex Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Cup show arena in Verona, Italy, on Sunday. The horse and rider team had just completed a course with just one rail down, the FEI reported. Videos show Hickstead calmly walking out of the arena before suddenly weakening, sitting back on his haunches, and falling as Lamaze dismounts.

Lamaze spoke at the press conference from his lawyer’s office to address the media about the horse’s death.

"He jumped very well the first and second day, and actually jumped very well the last day," an emotional Lamaze said. "He just collapsed. Nothing was unusual with the round. Even the last jump felt normal

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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