German eventer Dirk Schrade’s 2012 London Olympic team gold medal partner King Artus died after completing the CIC*** cross-country course at the Wiesbaden Three-Day Event (Germany) on May 18. He was 17.
The Holsteiner gelding (King Milford XX—Alida IV, Lorenz) wavered and fell down at the finish after completing a clear round. Veterinarians at the scene suspected an aortic tear.
King Artus began his international career with Peter Thomsen of Germany. They completed the CCI**** at Luhmühlen (Germany) in 2007 before Schrade took over the ride in 2008.
With Schrade, the gelding won the Pau CCI**** (France) in 2009 and was fourth individually at the HSBC FEI European Championships at Luhmühlen in 2011.
They won Olympic team gold and finished 26th individually in London last summer. Most recently, they were third after dressage at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials CCI**** (England), but Schrade retired King Artus on cross-country after a stop.
“We are all shocked and stunned by the tragic loss of King. To lose such an extraordinary horse cannot be expressed in words,” Schrade said on his website.