US World Cup Finals Horse Loses Life At Hickstead

Andy Kocher and Navalo competing at the World Cup
Credit : Scoopdyga

Sunday 24 June - 22h09 | Lulu Kyriacou

US World Cup Finals Horse Loses Life At Hickstead

Navalo de Poheton,  the popular grey who took his rider Andy Kocher  from national classes in the USA to the Longines World Cup Finals in Paris this year, has sadly had to be euthanised after an accident during his round in the famous Hickstead Jumping Derby in England.

The seventeen year old Cumano sired gelding  had already jumped round the majority of the course on Friday  when they scored 12  faults but had safely negotiated all the iconic fences such as the Devils Dyke and the Derby Bank on the way round.

​This afternoon, the pair had only jumped four fences  when the horse appeared to injured the left pastern or fetlock as he approached the fifth fence on the flat.  Hickstead's veterinary team were on the scene within seconds, and Kocher had already dismounted  by the time they reached  the stricken horse.  Despite the best efforts of  the team, Navalo's life could not be saved.

​Yesterday, Kocher had already announced  in a post on  Facebook  that this would be Navalo's last ever round and that he had a surprise for the horse's coming retirement. He called Navalo "the horse that took an ordinary guy  to the World Cup Finals."

Although Kochler and the horse had not been together for long (he was originally produced by Schuyler Riley) when they got into the ring together in May 2017, they hit it off as a combination immediately winning a 4* class at the Devon Horse Show within weeks. They followed that up with a 3* Grand Prix at Tryon and then the Word Cup qualifier in Del Mar, California (see video below). On reaching the Final, having warmed up at Saute Hermes also in Paris, they were not disgraced  finishing about halfway down the list of the world's very best showjumping riders.

​The organisers at Hickstead made the following statement;
The organisers of the All England Jumping Course are sad to report that Navalo De Poheton, the ride of the USA’s Andrew Kocher, was fatally injured while competing in the Hickstead Derby today (24 June). The 17-year-old gelding broke a leg on the flat, and despite receiving immediate veterinary attention in the ring he was not able to be saved. The Bunn family and the title sponsors Al Shira'aa expressed their condolences to the horse’s connections, and praised the swift and professional reactions of the Arena officials and veterinary team.

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