Headley Britannia, Lucinda Fredericks’ four-star mare, was euthanized today, April 1. Fredericks announced the loss on her Facebook page.
“It is with great sadness that we confirm that Headley Britannia was put to sleep today,” she wrote. “ 'Brit’ was the best horse I could have ever hoped to have ridden, and I owe her so much. We were having so much fun today in the beautiful sunshine cross-country schooling. I was so pleased to be with her for her last moments, and to have a chance to thank her for everything she has done for me and everyone around her. She remained calm, steady and was peaceful at the end.”
Fredericks told Horse & Hound that Brit, a 21-year-old Thoroughbred-Irish Draught (Jumbo—Alan’s Bambi) mare, was euthanized after breaking the radius bone in her left foreleg. Working student Alexandra Smith was riding the horse.
“She was going brilliantly," Fredericks told Horse & Hound. "We had jumped about 20 fences, and then she landed on perfect ground over a small jump and she just crumbled.”
Together Brit and Fredericks won the 2009 Rolex Kentucky CCI****, the 2006 Land Rover Burghley CCI**** (Great Britain) and the 2007 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** (Great Britain). The pair also helped Australia to a team silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.
Though the diminutive and notoriously spunky mare officially retired from upper-level competition in 2013, she won an Express Eventing competition later in the year. She has seven foals via embryo transplant, and she was ridden in retirement by Fredericks' daughter, Ellie.
“I am so thankful for the partnership I had with Brit. She was one in a million,” wrote Lucinda, who’s based in England, about the mare she owned with Clayton Fredericks and Angus Murray. “She was small but had such a huge heart. She was a true professional and made my career what it is, and without her I wouldn’t be where I am. She was my best friend. She touched so many lives and always brought a smile to everyone’s face.
“Brit’s competitive spirit, maneuverability, sheer guts and a will to win propelled her to the top of the equestrian sport of eventing,” she continued.