Irish show jumper Cameron Hanley issued a statement following the sad news that his horse, Antello Z, with which he represented Ireland at several Nations Cup shows, had to be put down following a competition at Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show in England.
“It is with unbelievable sadness I let you know that my partner Antello had to be put down today due to an injury sustained in the ring. He was such a fighter and he never quit. I had some of my best days in the ring with him. He brought me and those of us who were lucky enough to work with him, so much happiness. He will always be in my heart, I loved him so much. R.I.P my friend,” commented the 42-year-old rider.
Antello Z, a 13-year-old gelding, was a recent winner at a five-star show in Stuttgart and was a key member of the Irish Nations Cup team for a number of years. He and Hanley were competing in a 1.45-meter class at Liverpool; their fall came in the jump-off of the class, which was won by Italian rider Emanuele Gaudiano.
Together with Hanley, Antello Z was part of the Irish team at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France and played a major role in helping Ireland win the bronze medal in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final at Barcelona in 2013.
Horse & Hound magazine reported on the fall: “Cameron Hanley’s Antello Z jumped a spooky clear in the first phase, before crashing through an oxer in the jump-off after being distracted by the crowd. The horse took off but crumpled on landing, pitching Cameron over his head before cantering around the arena with blood visible on his near fore. He then came to a standstill in the exit tunnel looking shaken.” Hanley was uninjured in the fall.
Irish team manager Robert Splaine said: “I am very saddened to hear of the loss of Antello Z. With Cameron, this combination formed a formidable partnership and contributed greatly to Ireland’s success at the very highest level. Thankfully Cameron was uninjured in the fall.”
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Damian McDonald said: “Antello Z was a great horse and he and Cameron made a massive contribution to the Irish team in recent years.
“In our sport there is a very strong bond between horse and rider, as the rider is generally the trainer of the horse as well as the jockey. It is very sad for Cameron and his team who would have worked so closely with the horse,” he said.