A great tragedy occurred today at Jumping Verona when the Olympic champion horse Hickstead died after completing his round with his rider Eric Lamaze. The following statement was issued by Veronafiere and an FEI statement will be issued shortly.

Today at 15.25, as he was leaving the arena after his successful jumping round Hickstead, the horse ridden by Canadian Eric Lamaze, suddenly collapsed. The veterinary services were immediately in attendance, but unfortunately the horse was already dead.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled in the coming days.

Veronafiere, Organising Committee, were fully supportive of the request of the riders not to continue the competition and would like to express their affection and love towards one of the greatest horses in the history of the sport and his rider Eric Lamaze.

A minute’s silence was held in the arena out of respect.

Foreign Judge Jon Doney said that a classification would be made on the horses who had already jumped, because at the time of the incident there had been four clear rounds. 21 horses had completed the first round.

Earlier in the day Emanuele Gaudiano made it the turn of the Rangers to put the Italian military into the limelight today as he won the two phase contest which begun the proceedings as Jumping Verona. His time of 28.21 was just three hundredths of a second quicker than yesterdays winners Sergio Alvares Moya and Sirius. Britain’s Ben Mayer picked up yet another good placing, third on experienced campaigner Tackeray, beaten by only two hundredths, with Australia,s leading lady fourth on Mel d’ Argences.

Details of the weekend results can be found on the Jumping Verona website, http://www.jumpingverona.com/.