Wise Espartaco Collapses, Dies After Cross Country at Roebke’s Run

Ronald Zabala-Goetschel and Wise Espartaco. Photo by Charles Swita/Brant Gamma Photography. Ronald Zabala-Goetschel and Wise Espartaco. Photo by Charles Swita/Brant Gamma Photography.

It is with great sadness that we can confirm Wise Espartaco, owned and ridden by Ronald Zabala-Goetschel, collapsed and died following cross country yesterday while competing in the CCI2* at Roebke’s Run Horse Trials in Minnesota.

The event organizers said in a statement that a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. The USEA Equine Cardio-Pulmonary Task Force will subsequently review the findings.

“Manny,” a 12-year-old Argentinian Sport Horse gelding, was making his debut at the CCI2* level. He jumped clear on cross country with 24.4 time penalties before collapsing and dying soon after.

The horse was a consistent competitor at the Preliminary and one-star level and stepped up to Intermediate this year, most recently finishing 15th in his Intermediate division at Virginia Horse Trials. Ronald was using Roebke’s Run to qualify the horse for Ecuador’s Pan American Games team.

Please join us in sending our most heartfelt condolences to Ronald and his team for the heartbreaking loss of a talented horse.

Godspeed, Espartaco.

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