World of Showjumping
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Thank you Navalo De Poheton!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Thank you

The showjumping community mourns the loss of Andrew Kocher’s wonderful partner Navalo De Poheton (Cumano x Double Espoir), that had to be put to sleep on Sunday after sustaining a fatal injury while competing in the Hickstead Derby. 

Together, Kocher and Navalo De Poheton jumped at this year’s Longines FEI World Cup Final in Paris. Last year, the pair also won the 2017 $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Del Mar and the CSI3* Ariat® Grand Prix in Tryon – also jumping their way into showjumping fans' hearts. 

In an emotional and heart-breaking statement on his Instagram account, Kocher writes about his loss: "I am extremely heartbroken over the loss of my old friend. I had a plan to retire him after that round so he could retire as sound as possible. My plan was to offer him back to his breeder in France, because he also loved him. He is an older man and had come to the World Cup Finals and had tears in his eyes when he saw Navalo. So I thought this would be a perfect ending and reward for all the service he had given me. I was already filled with emotion knowing this would be the last round of his career and our partnership competing would come to an end. He came to the schooling area that day and warmed up sounder then ever and behaved better than he ever had. He was always so wild in the schooling area. I walked in the ring my eyes already watering up thinking about all the experiences we had had together. He jumped the first four jumps in perfect style and was laser focused on the task. After the first four jumps I thought my god we will be jumping clear today. We will be going out with bang! Then I felt something very wrong and tried to pull him up to get off. Being the soldier he was he was still going to the big wall jump 5. So I literally jumped off as he was still trying to canter and landed running beside him. The staff at Hickstead are very good. There were loads of people out immediately to help my beloved Navalo. They tried there best there was nothing they could do. I was such a wreck that I was taken away from the horse. Which was the right thing to do because there would have been no way I could have put him down. My friends helped me say goodbye to him, they cut a piece from his tail, I decided to have him cremated and that’s the last I will ever see of him. I’m very lucky to have so many friends that care about myself and the horse. I have received loads of messages, voicemails, and emails and so on. I will be returning all the messages within the next few days."

And, with Kocher's words to Navalo in our hearts – here is our tribute to a truly special horse, and a great couple!

All photos (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

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