Tapner Eventing Mourns Loss of Kilronan

Paul Tapner and Kilronan. Photo by Jenni Autry. Paul Tapner and Kilronan. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Paul Tapner announced this morning that his veteran partner, Kilronan, was put to sleep yesterday after a struggle with a condition that affected his spine and nervous system.

Kilronan, a Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Captain Fred and Penny Barker, represented Australia in multiple CCI4* competitions, including the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, where he finished 14th individually. He and Paul also completed Burghley twice and Badminton three times, including a fourth place finish in 2014.

The Tapner Eventing Team posted the following statement on their Facebook page:

Tapner Eventing Team are sad to share the news that Kilronan was put to sleep yesterday. His health and soundness had rapidly deteriorated over the winter months from a condition affecting his spine and central nervous system.

Kilronan had been part of Team Tapner since 2009 when he was purchased by Captain Fred and Penny Barker for Paul to campaign. He was a highly sensitive soul in the stables whose full trust he only ever gave to his long serving grooms Rowan Collins and Georgina Tapner, giving them both much joy and pride to care for him. His sensitive nature completely vanished when he launched out of a XC start box, transforming into an exceptionally talented and brave XC horse, with an ability to make it all seem easy and effortless during his partnership with Paul.

Kilronan was an extremely successful Event Horse with numerous wins at every single level of British Eventing , alongside numerous wins at FEI 2* and 3* levels. He completed Badminton CCI4* three times, Burghley CCI4* twice and represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy 2014. His highest achievement at 4* level of 4th place was at Badminton in 2014. Tom amassed a huge 1160 British Eventing Points during his career. Tom had been retired from 4* level of competition during 2016 and we had planned to campaign him at 2* level this year with young rider Ben Edwards .

Kilronan has given many fond memories to his owners Fred and Penny Barker, but one tale which stands out, is from his XC round at The World Equestrian Games in Normandy. As he effortlessly sprinted over the final few fences on a XC course where so many horses had failed or struggled in the dire conditions, in the riders, grooms and owners CCTV tent there was a surge of support from many who were watching him, giving rise to many loud cries echoing around the tent of “GO TOMMY GO!”

The team here at EN would like to extend their condolences to the Tapner team on the loss of such a special team member. Rest in peace, Kilronan.