Equestrian Sport Productions management announced that an equine fatality occurred at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Sunday, March 28. The incident happened in the high junior jumper classic at approximately 11:30 a.m. in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.
Lord Pizarro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding ridden by Ansgar Holtgers Jr. and owned by Gut Einhaus LLC and Dietmar Gugler, fell while attempting a jump. The equine ambulance, veterinarians from Palm Beach Equine Clinic and EMTs were on the scene immediately. Everything was done to ensure the comfort and safety of horse and rider.
The horse’s injury was assessed on-site and determined to be irreparable. The horse was euthanized on-site to avoid any further pain and distress for the animal. Holtgers, 16, Wellington, was examined by medics and was not injured.
“I am heartbroken to share with you that Lord Pizarro had to be euthanized following a tragic accident while showing,” Holtgers wrote in a post on the Gut Einhaus LLC Facebook page. “Words cannot express my sorrow at the loss of Lord Pizarro. I also want to thank Dietmar Gugler, the co-owner of Lord Pizarro. I feel responsible for each and every animal I take into my care and, like many [of] us, feel that they become members of my family.