As we reported earlier this week, Andy Kocher’s (USA) fairytale horse Navalo de Poheton (Cumano x Double Espoir) had a fatal injury last Sunday while competing in what was supposed to be his “retirement” class at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby CSI 4* during the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting at the All England Jumping Course in West Sussex, England.
Kocher released the following statement on Instagram about the tragic loss of the 17-year-old grey Selle Français gelding:
“I am extremely heartbroken over the loss of my old friend. I had a plan to retire him after that round so he could retire as sound as possible. My plan was to offer him back to his breeder in France, because he also loved him. He is an older man and had come to the World Cup Finals and had tears in his eyes when he saw Navalo. So I thought this would be a perfect ending and reward for all the service he had given me. I was already filled with emotion knowing this would be the last round of his career and our partnership competing would come to an end. He came to the schooling area that day and warmed up sounder then ever and behaved better than he ever had. He was always so wild in the schooling area. I walked in the ring my eyes already watering up thinking about all the experiences we had had together.”
“He jumped the first four jumps in perfect style and was laser focused on the task. After the first four jumps I thought my god we will be jumping clear today. We will be going out with bang! Then I felt something very wrong and tried to pull him up to get off. Being the soldier he was he was still going to the big wall jump 5. So I literally jumped off as he was still trying to canter and landed running beside him. The staff at Hickstead are very good. There were loads of people out immediately to help my beloved Navalo. They tried there best there was nothing they could do. I was such a wreck that I was taken away from the horse. Which was the right thing to do because there would have been no way I could have put him down. My friends helped me say goodbye to him, they cut a piece from his tail, I decided to have him cremated and that’s the last I will ever see of him. I’m very lucky to have so many friends that care about myself and the horse. I have received loads of messages, voicemails, and emails and so on. I will be returning all the messages within the next few days.”
Source: Andy Kocher Instagram account
Photo: © McCool Photography
Categories: News Update