03-29-2012, 10:50 AM
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Man, what happened to Hickstead is upsetting and a freak accident.
As to some of you who have been wondering if the horses are checked before and after the competition the answer is yes. I know on the "A" circuit, I had a horse competing in the Grand Prix at the end of the week in Atlanta, we were required to have the horseshow vet check his health and everything. I'm not sure if it's like this at all A Shows, but it's like that in Atlanta.
I know for the American Invitational all the horses are checked thoroughly before and after entering the ring.
Also these things are hard to detect and don't just happen to world class athletes. This happened to me, while I was showing a coming four year old, at a local schooling show. We finished our little 2ft 6 fence hunter course and as we were coming out of the ring he just collapsed with me on top of him. The horse is extremely calm and was acting perfectly normal. The vet had checked him maybe a few days before the show! It was also an at home schooling show so there was no stress due to traveling involved. Turns out that coming four year old had a aortic rupture.
So it's not unheard of at the local events either people. World Class athletes are vetted a lot!