Beresford's Relampago do Retiro Euthanized after Freak Accident

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 17:54
Eduardo Fischer and Hayley Beresford with Relampago do Retiro at the CDIO Aachen
Australian Dressage News

Hayley Beresford's 12-year old Lusitano stallion and Olympic team horse Relampago do Retiro passed away in a tragic road accident, which took place this morning near Hayley's base in Soest-Lippetal, Germany.

Early this morning Relampago returned home after a routine check-up at the equine clinic Telgte, where his old injury was being monitored. When a car suddenly pulled in front of them on the quiet Dolberger Strasse, 200 meters from the stable, the 23-year old driver had to make an emergency manoever which caused the trailer to tip over.

Villa Do Retiro's Brazilian vet Oteo Avilia was fortunately in Germany on business and was immediately called to the scene to treat Relampago. Unfortunately, Reli's injuries were so severe that the horse had to be euthanized on the spot. The driver was brought to the hospital in shock.

"This is absolutely devastating," Beresford told Eurodressage. "This freak accident was caused by someone pulling out in front of the car. It wasn't the driver's fault. She's a very experienced and responsible driver."

Hayley Beresford recently made her come back to the show ring with "Reli" who sustained an injury at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. In 2008 they finished 19th in the Grand Prix Special at the Olympic Games in Hong Kong. The stallion was bred, reared and owned by Eduardo Fisher of Lusitano stud farm Villa do Retiro in Brazil.

"Eduardo has lost as much as I," said Beresford. "This horse was his baby. He bred, raised and owned him. Eduardo as been like a father to me. I can't ask more from him as a sponsor and I have nothing without him. We are a big team at Retiro. It's a privilege to be involved with such great people. This is also why I love riding Lusitano's."

"It's been the worst month of my life," Beresford added. The Australian rider, who turned 33 just two days ago, found out that her breast cancer has returned. Hayley has gone straight back into treatment as this is her second relapse after she was first diagnosed seven years ago in the spring of 2004.

"I was supposed to go into surgery today but that was postponed until after Aachen," she explained. "I'm coping much better than before but I had been feeling under the weather physically for months. I thought I had taken on so much, but now I know otherwise."

Beresford had planned a series of clinics in Australia this summer but is now forced to cancel them. "This takes so much out of me. It's just too demanding at the moment," she said. "I sent a few horses back home and am just keeping my competition horses. The doctors want me to stay riding and Reli was of course at the top of the ladder. I think I'll have to take one step in front of the other. I'll fight, what else can I do."

We wish Hayley much strength.

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Australian Team for 2010 World Equestrian Games Selected
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