New Zealand 2008 Olympic eventing horse Snip has succumbed to cancer at the age of 22.
Joe Meyer rode Snip for the New Zealand team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the team finished fifth, and Meyer was 25th individually. They also represented New Zealand at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, with a sixth place team finish. The combination were based in Britain from about 1998, until 2011, when Meyer relocated to the US. Later that year, at the age of 19, Snip finished 11th in the Kentucky Horse Trials, only months after fracturing his hock in a stable accident.
Meyer’s partner, Ruthie Harbison, said: “His illness came on very quickly and he did not suffer.”
“There is no way to put into words how special this horse was. He gave 100% of himself every day of his 22 years. From the Olympics to being a lead pony he gave so much happiness to so many people. A once-in-a-lifetime horse, he will always be a true champion. We will all miss you so very very much Snippy.”
The New Zealand-bred thoroughbred, by Silent Hunter and out of the Coolmack mare Ciranoush, was bred by Meyer’s parents John and Gay at Mamaku Stud in the Wairarapa.
Snip did eight CCI4*, four of which were at Badminton and produced clear cross country rounds – and three of those also had clear showjumping. Between his first three-star run in 2000 and his last in 2011, Snip jumped clear rounds in more than 20 three and four star starts on four continents.
Snip retired from international competition last year, and won his last competition, an advanced test at Ocala.
On his retirement, Meyer described Snip as “just the most fabulous horse to have around”.
He was honoured with a special ceremony at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.