RIP Hickstead

Hickstead passed away today 😦 He was amazing to watch

*Edit Update…So I just watched the video (which is horrible and I don’t encourage you to watch it) of the event and the words “he collapsed after finishing his round” do not even begin to describe it. What really makes me mad though is Eric Lamaze’s last moments with the horse. I understand that it is dangerous to get near a horse when it is like that and I can honestly say I don’t know how I would react in that situation, but I can tell you one thing. I would NOT be standing there poking at my horse with the end of a whip as he was dying. That was disgraceful Eric Lamaze.*

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8 thoughts on “RIP Hickstead

  1. Just read about it somewhere else…don’t want to see it. Even sadder to read your observation…sounds ridiculously inappropriate. I’ve just about decided to stop watching sport horse events of all kinds. Thanks for the forewarning.

  2. i’m so glad you mentioned hickstead, he was a fantastic horse and will be sadly missed.
    i watched the video aswell, its very distressing but i thought the events personell did very well in reacting so quickly.
    if my horse collapsed underneath me with a heartattack i dont think i would be poking him with a whip either, but hopefully erics reaction was just because of the shock of the situation, he had ridden him for many years and they must have had a fantastic relationship together. R.I.P Hickstead

  3. I didn’t watch the video and I am not going to but I would think that perhaps Eric was so shocked at having the horse drop out from under him that he was just trying to tell him to get up. I have never had a horse fall under me but I have seen it happen and often the rider’s first response is to get the horse back on it’s feet. It’s a knee jerk reaction to tell yourself that the horse is alright. Eric has had this horse for a long time and they had just pulled up from a jumping round, I am sure that shock and disbelief were the emotions and not some callous ‘poking’ at a dying horse.

  4. I think he was just reacting as any trained professional would, Eric knew that something was clearly, very very wrong. Obviously you never get that close to a seizing animal, so it’s not like he was about to throw himself onto Hickstead in an emotional panic. I think he felt so much shock and fear that the poke was probably just a reflex. He also knew that vets would be at his horses side in a matter of seconds and that anything else was best left in their hands. I think, in general, we should remember Hickstead and Eric as the absolutely astounding pair they were, beautiful and amazing. I was lucky enough to see their last Canadian show together in September at Spruce Meadows, and it was an absolute joy to watch the two of them together.

  5. I agree with Barbara, I just watched the footage again and Eric is not poking him with his whip. If anything it does look like he is trying to encourgage him to get up (albeit with crop in hand…which never touched the horse). I’m sure he had no idea what was happening and was confused. This happened after he signalled for help to come into the ring. It is so sad that this happened but please we don’t need to attack Eric Lamaze who is devastated by the loss of his partner.

  6. I have watched the video several times, and as I said before, I have no idea how I would handle that situation myself. That being said he was clearly poking his horse in the head with the back of his bat. You can justify it and rationalize it anyway you want, but I still say it was inappropriate.

  7. As someone who has dealt with a seizing horse (my old boy had epilepsy), I can say that poking him with the bat was the safest thing for Eric to use to try to ground Hickstead. You never want to get near anything that’s seizing, because when they come to they can become VERY aggressive and EXTREMELY dangerous, but from my experience, a couple prods with the end of a whip/crop or handle of a manure fork was enough to “breakthrough” and bring him out of the seizure sooner than if I were to leave him thrashing for too long, especially since Charlie seemed to seize most frequently near fences or other things he could tangle himself in.
    As an epileptic myself (and a bad one at that), I’ve been poked/prodded/bumped/tapped with all kinds of things during seizures, and soon after, before people get close enough to make sure i’m actually okay. I’m fine with that, they’re no help to me if they get hurt by a thrashing limb or something!
    So think what you want, but I don’t see a problem with the pokes he gave Hickstead. Had he bean smacking him with it, then yes, that’d be a huge problem. I do, however, feel that your choice of words used to express your disappointment in Eric’s response was really poor and highly offensive, imagine how the poor man would feel if he were to read your post?
    As a horseperson, and as a Canadian, I am extremely saddened by the loss of an incredible equine athlete, and I wish Eric Lamaze, his grooms/assistants, and Hickstead’s owners, all the best. My local Greenhawk is putting together a card (well, more like a package of cards/notes/letters) to send to Eric Lamaze (one of the store managers was a groom for him in his early days!), and I have added my contribution.

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