British showjumper Guy Williams has paid tribute to his ‘brilliant’ horse Depardieu Van T Kiezelhof, who has died of a heart attack.
The 14-year-old gelding collapsed on the gallops a week ago last Friday (May 26), after being with Lambourn-based trainer Charlie Mann to get fit for the Hickstead Derby later this month (25 June).
Speaking to Horse & Hound magazine Williams said: ‘You try to do the best thing by them [the horse] and something like this happens,
‘I think that’s the worst thing — that he wasn’t at home when it happened.’
He also said that the 18hh Belgian gelding had ‘only been cantering in the morning, but he is a big horse.’
‘We had him checked before he left and he was fine and he’d never had any heart problems before,’ he added.
‘It could have happened at any time and I’m just grateful it didn’t happen in the ring.’
The partnership had enjoyed a number of international sucesses, the most recent win came in a four-star Grand Prix in Vejer de la Fontera in March.
‘He’s been a brilliant horse for us — we’ve had him nine or 10 years, his whole career basically,’ Guy said.
‘He’s won so much for us and Lindsay [Doran] has been such a loyal owner with him.
‘They’ve become family friends rather than just owners. They’ve been so understanding.
‘It’s hard to lose any horse, but it’s so much harder when you’ve had them so long. We’ve had him cremated.’