Let the Games begin…soon: Jockey Frankie Dettori leaps from ex-racehorse Monsignor after they carried the Olympic Flame around the parade ring at Ascot Racecourse during day 53 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on July 10, 2012 in Windsor, England. The Olympic Flame is now on day 53 of a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles. Photo: LOCOG via Getty Images
Gold medal horse Hickstead dead Hickstead, the “superstar” stallion that carried Canadian equestrian champion Eric Lamaze to Olympic gold-medal glory in Beijing in 2008, died suddenly during a competition in Italy on Sunday, tragically ending a partnership that helped push the country to the top of the sport of show jumping.
Montreal-born Lamaze, the world’s current No. 1 rider, had just taken Hickstead through a nearly faultless 13-fence course at the Rolex FEI World Cup in Verona, Italy, when the 15-year-old horse abruptly collapsed and died.
“We finished our round, I circled and was leaving the ring, and he collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack,” Lamaze said in a news release. “It is the most tragic thing that has ever happened. We had him until he was 15, and we had a great time together. He was the best horse in the world. We are all devastated.” (Photo: BRUNO DE LORENZO/AFP/Getty Images)