New Zealand’s Emily Cammock announced her decision to euthanize Dambala on Sunday, April 26, after the horse sustained an injury on cross-country at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****.
“Just had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “ ‘Oscar’s’ injury is significant and career-ending, so he is being euthanized today. RIP my beautiful boy, may your spirit live forever in the horse capital of the world.”
Dambala jumped clear on cross-country with 11.2 time penalties, but then the gelding was lame when Cammock finished the course. She said the 15-year-old Thoroughbred had reinjured an old suspensory problem.
The pair came all the way from New Zealand for this competition, and it was the horse’s first four-star.
She followed up her announcement with a statement to Eventing Nation.
“Saturday evening, our vets were treating the injury as career ending,” she said. “At that point, we felt that a recovery to a career as a pasture ornament might be manageable by leaving Oscar in the States. Plain Dealing Farm, where I spent some time as a groom in 2001, generously offered to provide a long-term home for Oscar, and we began making plans to transport him to Virginia.
“But when we took the bandage off this morning, it was clear that no support was left in the suspensory structure,” she continued. “I couldn’t even pick up his other leg. Oscar is a wild man who has never been able to rehab in a box. The vets said that he would never be sound in retirement and that his quality of life would be compromised, even if he could somehow make it through rehab. He is not a horse to stand around.”
Read her full statement regarding this difficult decision on Eventing Nation.