How Do They Live?


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The vast majority of the time, I love my job. As a lifelong equestrian who loves to teach, there’s no better feeling than passing important information about how to keep horses healthy to other owners. But there are hoursÑgenerally sporadically throughout the yearÑthat my job makes me incredibly sad. There are few things harder than posting an article informing the public that a famed and beloved horse has died. And it makes me even sadder when that horse leaves well before he or she should.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

On Wednesday, I had to tell you that champion racehorse Zenyatta’s 6-month-old fillyÑaffectionately called Z PrincessÑhad been euthanized after a paddock accident. And in August, I had to let you know that Wild Lone, a 13-year-old eventing horse had died after finishing a cross-country round at the World Equestrian Games. Back in January, it was 7-year-old champion racehorse St Nicholas Abbey succumbing to colic as he recovered from injuries sustained in a training accident. And even before that, it was 15-year-old show jumping great Hickstead collapsing and dying from an acute aortic rupture at a competition in Italy

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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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