A horse died in competition on Sunday, March 28 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Lord Pizarro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding ridden by Ansgar Holtgers Jr. (USA), fell while attempting a jump in the High Junior Jumper Classic in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL
“The equine ambulance, veterinarians from WEF Official Veterinarian Palm Beach Equine Clinic, and EMTs were on the scene immediately,” reported Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) management.
“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 Jr. was examined by medics and was not injured.”
The 16-year-old rider shared the news on the Gut Einhaus LLC Facebook page, writing: “Today has been a very difficult day for me. I am heartbroken to share with you that Lord Pizarro, had to be euthanized following a tragic accident while showing. Words cannot express my sorrow at the loss of Lord Pizarro.”
Holtgers Jr. went on to thank the horse’s co-owner, Dietmar Gugler, and the bay gelding: “I feel responsible for each and every animal I take into my care and, like many us, feel that they become members of my family. Lord Pizarro, you were an amazing horse and friend; I’m devastated to have lost you far too soon.”
Originally imported from Germany, Lord Pizarro was campaigned by Mexican Olympian Enrique Gonzalez between 2019–2020, earning multiple top 10 finishes up to the 1.50m level. The horse was previously developed by Germany’s Elisabeth Meyer during his seven and eight year old years. The pair were briefly reunited in November 2020, competing in Europe, before the horse joined Holtgers Jr. string.
Condolences to all his connections.