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May 18, 2014

Updated: Urico Injured

Ben Maher and Urico in action, winning the $150,000 CSIO Grand Prix at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in March. Photo by Molly Sorge

British Ben Maher has released a statement that grand prix show jumper Urico, owned by Jane Clark of the United States, sustained a serious injury while competing in the Longines Grand Prix of La Baule (France) on May 18.

 “The British team veterinarian, Bobby McEwen, immediately assessed the situation before making a decision to refer Urico to an extremely well respected veterinary clinic in Nantes,” Maher’s statement read.

 “Neither British Showjumping nor the British Equestrian Federation are able to give any further information at this moment in time, but can confirm that they are in ongoing contact with all parties concerned.

 “Urico will undergo surgery to repair the sustained injury. Jane, myself and our team are devastated but are confident that Urico will make a full recovery, so that this talented horse can retire from international competition and enjoy a retirement at Jane Clark’s farm in Wellington, Fla. 

 “Jane and I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and well wishes. We appreciate everyone’s consideration and care.”

Update: A second statement released by Maher on May 23 said that Urico successfully underwent a four-hour surgery to repair a severe stress fracture of his pastern bone. Five screws were inserted into the bone.

As soon as the gelding is stable enough to travel, he'll return to Maher's stable in England. Once he's completely recovered, he'll be retired at Clark's Wellington, Fla., farm. 

Urico, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, competed on the U.S. show jumping team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with Mario Deslauriers. Maher, of Great Britain, took over the ride in 2013.

Maher spent much of 2013 solidifying his relationship with the quirky but talented Urico. Earlier this year, Urico and Maher won the $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup and the $82,000 Adequan Grand Prix in February and the $150,000 CSIO***** Grand Prix in March at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.). "Good horses like that are hard to come by, so we certainly weren't going to push him aside and go find another horse," Maher said to the Chronicle after their win in the $150,000 CSIO Grand Prix. "I'd rather ride one of him than 10 of something else. It's been a learning curve for me to get that horse figured out. It's nice to have it all come together." 

 
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