Kingpin’s cause of death revealed

Kingpin and Mike Winter
Kingpin and Mike Winter

Kingpin, the 13-year old Irish Sport Horse who died at Rolex was killed by an abdominal hemorrhage, an extremely rare condition, according to reports in both and

Dr Christiana Ober, the Canadian Eventing Team veterinarian, said King Pin suffered a hemorrhage of the large vessels in the abdomen, unrelated to any jumping effort or trauma. “This is a very rare condition and the actual cause is unknown,” she said.

Having looked at a brief snippet of video showing Kingpin’s approach to the last fence, it’s apparent that something is wrong and that Mike Winter is trying his best to stop him. This was not a rider error problem.  This was a rare medical problem.

I know from my own experience that learning your horse died from a medical issue that had no solution (my own horse had a “vascular accident”) gives you closure. Until I found out the results of the necropsy, I second guessed every decision that I’d made during the 10 days between when he started showing symptoms and when he died.  My vets had no answers. But I felt terribly guilty. When the necropsy results finally came in, the vet told me it was a very rare occurance and was just damn bad luck.

Knowing that you couldn’t have saved your horse certainly removes the guilt, but it doesn’t assuage the grief. My heart goes out to Mike Winter and the rest of Kingpin’s team and owners.

4 thoughts on “Kingpin’s cause of death revealed

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  2. I expect it was already too late, but as Kingpin approached the jump he was being hit with the crop to keep him moving. I was present and disagree with your comment that Mike Winter was attempting to stop Kingpin.

    I am sure that Mike feels bad enough and I am in know way blaming him for Kingpin’s death.

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