Ajayeb, ridden by Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, was euthanized during the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships in Samorin, Slovakia, on Sept. 18.
“Ajayeb tripped and fell on the fourth loop of the track, suffering an irreparable injury to her right front leg and had to be euthanized,” stated the Fédération Equestre Internationale in a press release.
The 15-year-old Arabian mare (Tidjani—Gharam, Dynamite III) previously won competitions with Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs and Kamila Kart of Poland.
Punti Dachs won individual gold in Slovakia aboard Twyst Maison Blanche, and he helped his teammates (Alex Luque Moral on Calandra PH and Angel Soy Coll on Qualif du Poncelet) to team gold. Punti Dachs wasn’t first through the finish line, but the finishers before him were eliminated due to veterinary reasons.
“It was a very tough day,” Punti Dachs said. “There were magnificent horses in front of me, but endurance sometimes happens like this. You do everything right and then something goes wrong. It’s like life.”
Forty-seven of the original 134 starters finished, and neither of the two U.S. pairs (Thomas Hagis on Indian Reinman and Margaret Sleeper on Shyrocco Rimbaud) completed.