Leslie Morse’s Grand Prix dressage stallion, Kingston (Voltaire—Gisnette, Burgraaf), died on Oct. 11 at Kings Court, Morse’s training facility located in Hidden Hills, Calif. Kingston had an acute colic episode when the temperature changed drastically, and he died on the farm after he was unable to get on the trailer for transport to a veterinary hospital.
“He couldn’t make it to the hospital. I wrapped my arms around him and sat with him for two hours with three friends,” said Morse. “What a life we shared. I think of all the places, arenas, cities and countries that we went together, and it will keep me bright.”
The 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion underwent colic surgery in July of this year, but he had made a complete recovery before this recent incident.
“Kingston will always be my shining star, as he has been from the beginning. [His] light will never fade,” said Morse. “Kingston was the gift of all gifts. He inspired me to be the best I could be daily.”
Kingston was the 2005 U.S Dressage Federation Horse of the Year, and The Chronicle of the Horse’s 2006 Dressage Horse of the Year. The two-time national champion represented the United States at several World Cup Finals, and he was selected as a reserve for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.
Kingston retired from the international arena in 2008, and he spent the last two seasons in the breeding shed. Morse has kept several of his offspring. Another foal, Brighton, a colt out of Debbie McDonald’s champion mare Brentina by embryo transfer, will be one of the most closely watched in the future.