A 20-year-old Anglo-Arab gelding named Barack Obama was euthanized Friday afternoon at the Tryon Equine Hospital, not far from where he was competing in the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
The horse, ridden by Team New Zealand’s Jenny Champion, competed in the endurance championship earlier in the week. Because some teams were misdirected at the start, the endurance race was shortened to a 120-kilometer ride, and then a Tuesday afternoon shower caused it to be canceled completely due to concerns over the heat and humidity.
Barack Obama was taken to the games’ endurance treatment clinic after being transported back from the second loop of the 120-kilometer ride, according to a statement from World Equestrian Games spokeswoman Gayle Telford. He was treated onsite for kidney problems, and then taken to the nearby equine hospital near the North Carolina-South Carolina state line.
The horse’s owner consulted with Champion and the team veterinarian and chose to euthanize the animal Friday afternoon.
Barack Obama had competed in endurance events across the globe for the past nine years and had 16 FEI starts, according to Telford’s statement.