RF Smoke on the Water

I thought today's post would be about my regular lesson, but during my lesson, a teammate watching my lesson cried out while checking his smartphone.  "Sorry, it's just, Smoke on the Water passed away today."  "WHAT?!" my trainer and I both said.   We all saw his Show Jumping round at Rolex just four days ago, and at the time my trainer described it as "Not an eventer show jump round - more like a proper show jumping show jump round.  Beautiful."   He was euthanized today after getting briefly cast in his stall.

Last Sunday

"Two days after his arrival [at their summer barn in Maryland, after Rolex], during a late-morning habitual roll in the new bedding that had just been placed in his stall before he went out for the day, Smoke became cast against the wall and was struggling. Though Raylyn staff and his longtime caretaker Emily Dufort were immediately in his stall to assist Smoke in righting himself, it became clear that Smoke had sustained an injury during his struggle....Based on examinations, imaging, system chemistry panels and consultations with other veterinarians, Dr. Furr suggests that Smoke had sustained undefined traumatic injury to his central nervous system while he was cast, possibly due to damage to the cervical or lumbar spine sustained during the ordeal."

On Monday, my optometrist was describing visiting his brother's horse farm, where the brother mentioned that he couldn't let his horses on his pasture because they could founder on the lush spring grass.  "It just doesn't seem like an animal so big should be so fragile and easily damaged," my optometrist said.  I quoted my racehorse trainers, "They'll take you from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in seconds."

Hug your horses - I know I did.  This has rocked me like no other equine tragedy has, given how alive and impressive he was just days ago.  Rest in peace, RF Smoke on the Water.  


16 comments:

  1. Oh that's so very tragic, to be at the top of your game, and go out because you rolled in a stall the wrong way. Horses are so oddly fragile. :( RIP Smoke on the Water.

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  2. Oh.My.Gosh. I hadnt heard bout this until just now. I seriously fell in love with this horse watching him go at Rolex. SO tragic and what a loss. Such a young, talented, nice horse.

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  3. I saw this on Facebook tonight. I work at a Vet Teaching School and we see a lot of tragic horse deaths. They really are such fragile animals. How sad. My ponies definitely got extra love and cookies tonight.

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  4. I feel the same. Absolutely crazy that we just saw him in all of his glory and now he's gone. Their stadium round was so lovely. Rest in peace

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  5. He was my favorite to watch in all three phases. That's just heartbreaking.

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  6. Its so sad whether its a backyard pet or a horse that finished in the top 10 at Rolex, but what a shame. He was a seriously NICE horse.

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  7. I was so impressed with him at Rolex, and really shaken by something so simple hurting a horse like that. They are shockingly fragile. :(

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  8. I still can't believe it. These horses so powerful and so fragile. :(

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  9. so tragic that the horse world has had another loss.

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  10. So sad about this guy. Especially tragic that it's a freak accident and so sudden :(

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  11. So sad, especially after just seeing what a nice horse he was. RIP

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  12. What? Unbelievably sad.

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  13. Crazy. What a sad reminder of that things can happen in a moment.

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  14. This horse and rider performed a lovely dressage test at Rolex also. Such a loss.

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