We are sad to report that Grass Valley has been euthanized at Belton Horse Trials after breaking his fetlock while competing on the CIC3* cross country course with Gabriel Figueiredo Silva Cury. Mark Todd, who rode the horse on the bronze medal winning New Zealand team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, confirmed the news to Horse & Hound.
Gabriel, who formerly competed in pure show jumping, purchased the 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding with Shaady Cury Jr. and Helena Figueiro Da Siva Cury in 2013 to pursue eventing. Grass Valley helped Gabriel quickly rise through the ranks, taking him from Novice through to the CCI4* level in just one year.
Their career highlights include representing Brazil at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, where they finished 41st individually. Gabriel and Grass Valley also completed Badminton in 2015, where Gabriel was the highest placed under-25 rider, and achieved an impressive fourth-place finish at Boekelo CCIO3* last year.
Mark Todd enjoyed much success with Grass Valley after taking over the ride in 2008, piloting him to a top-20 finish at Badminton in 2010 and an 11th place individual finish and team bronze medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington. Eric Smiley, Alberto Giugni and Jules Stiller Cournane also formerly campaigned the horse, known as “Riley” in the stable.
Gabriel and Grass Valley were strong frontrunners to represent Brazil at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this year. Please join us in sending condolences to Gabriel and Grass Valley’s owners, as well as Mark and all others who knew and loved this true veteran campaigner.