British Event Horse Wild Lone Dies after WEG Cross-Country

British Event Horse Wild Lone Dies after WEG Cross-Country

Harry Meade and Wild Lone en route to a clear round on the WEG cross-country course.

Photo: Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA

A second horse has died during the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Alltech World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France. Two days after an endurance horse died during the race, eventing mount Wild Lone, ridden by Harry Meade (GBR), died at the Haras du Pin cross-country course.

The 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding had just completed a clear round on Saturday afternoon when he collapsed, the FEI stated.

“The horse in no way suffered, and it was extremely quick,” said a tearful Meade in a statement to the media.

Ground conditions and the difficulty of the course had nothing to do with the incident, Meade specified: “I felt that that played no part whatsoever in what happened to Wild Lone. He’s as fit as any horse I’ve ever had in a four-star, and he gave me a wonderful ride in cross-country. My only regret of the whole day was that, from a competitive point of view, he was so well within himself that I could have asked for a little bit more because he felt extremely comfortable the whole way and had tons of fuel left at the end.”

Outgoing British Equitation Federation Performance Director Will Connell said it’s too early to provide further details about the horse’s death.

“What I can say is that the team vet was with the horse, as were many other vets, and by the time I got there, it was clear that all that could be done was being done, and it was being handled in a very professional manner,” he said.

Meade added, “He was a wonderful horse whom I’ve been working with since he was a four-year-old. I said to my father when (Wild Lone) was a six-year-old that he would one day be considered to be the best cross-country horse in the world. And I think he was.”

A post-mortem examination will be carried out per FEI veterinary regulations.

“I am really devastated by what happened,” said Meade. “I felt that the course was a really good course. I would be very sad if anyone were to draw any incorrect conclusions and feel that the tough nature of the competition in any way contributed towards what happened. From the feel I had on the horse, it wasn’t connected.”

Meade and Wild Lone had a total of 26.4 time penalties and finished in 25th place for the cross-country portion of the event. They stood in 88th place after Friday’s dressage test.

About the Author

Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA

Christa Lesté-Lasserre is a freelance writer based in France. A native of Dallas, Texas, Lesté-Lasserre grew up riding Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Shetland Ponies. She holds a master’s degree in English, specializing in creative writing, from the University of Mississippi in Oxford and earned a bachelor's in journalism and creative writing with a minor in sciences from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She currently keeps her two Trakehners at home near Paris. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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