Liberal Dies After Presumed Aortic Rupture at Luhmühlen

Tom Crisp and Liberal in dressage yesterday. Photo by Jenni Autry. Tom Crisp and Liberal in dressage yesterday. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Luhmühlen officials have confirmed that Liberal, a 15-year-old gelding owned by Clare and David Comey and ridden by Tom Crisp, died following a presumed aortic rupture after fence 7. After the jump, the horse appeared to start staggering to the right and collapsed in front of fence 11. The screens were up within seconds, and the horse was taken away in an ambulance. The vets have now confirmed in a press conference held immediately after cross country that the horse passed away within seconds of collapsing.

Tom, who was not injured when the horse fell, attended the press conference to speak about what happened: “He was in high spirits today and set off well,” Tom said. “The course is fantastic, and the going is good. We had just jumped fence 7, and he didn’t feel right behind. I went to circle him and pull up, and then he collapsed shortly after that. We’re all very said, and it’s going to be a tough day.”

Will Connell, the chef de mission of the British eventing team, also attended the press conference and thanked the organizers for their very prompt response when Liberal went down: “It happened very early in the course before the three-minute marker. It had nothing to do with the fence. It was one of those very sad, regretful instances that happens in life.”

The EN team extends our condolences to Tom, Clare, David and all who knew and loved Liberal. Tom was very shaken up at the press conference, and it was very touching that he attended to speak on behalf of his parter of 10 years who unfortunately was taken from us too soon. Rest in peace, Liberal.

Stay tuned for much more from Luhmühlen.

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