Sapphire Passes Away from Colic Complications

McLain Ward and Sapphire. Screenshot via USEF Network video. McLain Ward and Sapphire. Screenshot via USEF Network video.

Champion show jump mare Sapphire, who enjoyed an illustrious career with McLain Ward, has passed away due to complications from colic. McLain posted the following statement on his Facebook page:

With a very heavy heart I have to share that Sara has passed away this morning due to complications from colic. Our entire Castle Hill family and every person she has touched has lost a great friend. Thank you Sara not just for all the dreams you made come true but simply for being who you were. You always will be my champion in every way. God speed good friend.

Together, Sapphire and McLain collected two Olympic team gold medals – one from 2004 in Athens and one from 2008 in Beijing – and a silver medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington. The superstar Belgian Warmblood mare was retired in an emotional ceremony at the Devon Horse Show in 2012. In 2013, Sapphire was inducted into the USEF Horse Stars Hall of Fame.

Our thoughts and condolences are with McLain and all whose lives were touched by this wonderful mare, who will always be remembered as one of the most fierce competitors to grace the show jumping arena.

Please enjoy this wonderful highlight video, courtesy of the USEF Network.


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