How Did Hickstead Die

How Did Hickstead Die

The death of Hickstead, the showjumping megastar, sent shockwaves throughout the equestrian world. What seemed like a healthy horse in the peak of physical condition suddenly became a tragedy overnight, leaving fans wondering: How did Hickstead die? Read on to find out the details.

1. Uncovering the Tragic Death of Olympic Champion Hickstead

The show jumper world was left in a state of shock on November 15th, 2011 when Olympic champion Hickstead passed away after a training accident in Verona, Italy. It was at this moment that the beloved stallion was taken away from the sport that he had dedicated his life to.

The cause of death was determined to be a rupture of the aorta, the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart, caused when the stallion hit his nose on the base of the jump while completing a course of exercises. As a result, the sudden death of Hickstead stunned the world of competitive show jumping, resulting in an immense outpouring of grief from fans and riders.

2. Investigating Why One of the World’s Most Iconic Show Jumpers Passed Away

Famous for his consistency, Hickstead was trained with a strict regimen that involved careful warm-ups and gradually increasing the difficulty of the exercises each day. However, Hickstead had an unfortunate combination of being too supple for the fences and of having a neck prone to making more difficult movements, such as his “Hick Steady” turn, known as one of the most difficult moves in the sport. The combination of those factors often made him unpredictable in the ring, and eventually led to the accident in Verona.

The tragedy of his death unsurprisingly served as a catalyst for changing safety protocols and regulations for faced show jumpers.

3. Exploring the Final Moments of Hickstead’s Life

Hickstead appears to have died in a state of calm and comfort. Those present at the training camp that day recall Hickstead completing the jump as usual, but with a very unusual stiffness in his posture. His trainer, Eric Lamaze, continued to carry out the exercise with the expectation that the stiffness would pass, but it became clear that his horse was in distress. Lamaze immediately put a stop to the training and instructed someone to call the veterinarian.

Upon inspection, it was determined that there was no hope to be had for Hickstead. Rather than putting him through further pain and suffering, it was decided to euthanize the animal.

4. Examining the Legacy Left Behind by Hickstead

Hickstead’s death was not only a tragedy for the show jumping world, but has left behind a legacy of safety standards that will be of benefit to countless riders and horses in the future.

Hickstead did so much for the sport of show jumping, both in the ring and in the world of safety standards. His death left us with many questions, but one thing is for sure – Hickstead will always be remembered and honored for his contributions to the sport.

5. What His Death Means for Featured Show Jumpers Today

Since Hickstead’s tragic death in 2011, the show jumping world has taken steps to improve the safety of horses. Tighter regulations and stricter safety protocols are now enforced in horse shows across the world, in order to ensure that no horse or rider ever has to face similar circumstances.

These changes have taken the form of:

  • Increased safety netting and fencing
  • More stringent penalties for dangerous behavior in the ring
  • Greater requirement for vet inspections prior to competitions
  • More rigorous rules around warm-up exercises

Hickstead’s death serves as a painful reminder of the importance of keeping our equestrian athletes safe. The regulations and protocols in place today commemorate the passion, drive, and spirit of one of show jumping’s greatest heroes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happened to Hickstead?

A: The beloved Canadian show jumping horse Hickstead died unexpectedly in November 2011 due to a sudden and fatal aneurysm.

Q: What was Hickstead’s background?

A: Hickstead was bred in the Netherlands and trained by Canada’s Eric Lamaze. He competed in show jumping events around the world, winning medals at the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Q: What sort of impact did Hickstead have on show jumping?

A: Hickstead was part of a game-changing approach to show jumping, which included high-risk, high-stakes jumping. He helped develop a new generation of riders that pushed the sport to higher levels, while inspiring fans around the world.

Q: What sort of legacy did Hickstead leave behind?

A: Hickstead’s legacy lives on in the form of the Hickstead Memorial Trophy, which is presented to the winner of the Canadian National Horse Show CSI3* Open Jump class each year. In addition, “Hickstead” is a registered trademark of Eric Lamaze, who continues to honor the legacy of the horse through the use of his name and brand.

In Conclusion

We hope this article has provided you with a greater understanding of how Hickstead passed away. It is a reminder of the strength and indomitable will of Hickstead, who overcame all obstacles to become an unlikely champion of the equestrian world. His legacy will live on forever and be remembered by generations of fans who admired him for his courage and performance. May Hickstead rest in peace.
One of the most heartbreaking tales in equestrian sport occurred on November 14, 2011 when Hickstead, the mount of Canadian equestrian Eric Lamaze, suddenly died of heart failure while competing at the CHIO Aachen in Germany. Hickstead was Lamaze’s longtime partner, winning the 2008 and team gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics, and constantly being at the top of their sport.

The passing of Hickstead was unexpected, and therefore even more devastating to Lamaze. In the horse’s last competition the pair competed in the Halbread Cup, the main event of the CHIO Aachen, and had just completed a stunning round in the jump-off. Hickstead’s death happened immediately after jumping the second jump in the jump-off, knocking down the rails in the process. After completing the round, Lamaze started to walk away from the course, but after a few strides Hickstead crumpled to the ground and died shortly after.

Given that it was not an injury that killed Hickstead, it obviously wasn’t expected by anyone competing and there was little time to act. But what exactly killed the horse? In a press conference shortly after the incident, Lamaze said that it was most likely due to a “massive aortic rupture”, a failure of the heart’s main artery, that caused Hickstead’s death. This cause of death could not be acted on or prevented, and was one of the few unpredictable deaths in equine history.

The passing of Hickstead was a huge tragedy in the equestrian world. His partnership with Lamaze was legendary, and he will be missed by fans, equine communities, and the Olympic circle alike. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest showjumpers in history.


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