Sea Lord, a leggy and brilliant OTTB who performed a tribute to American racehorses so beautifully under top dressage rider Silva Martin in 2011, has died.
Following months of tests, and at least one major episode with colic, the high-stepping giant of a horse who was said to have the “presence of a god,” was euthanized at New Bolton Center on Dec. 11, said his owner Charish Arthur.
“At the end, we had the vet out everyday, they came on their own time just to check on him,” Arthur said. “He’d always been a hard keeper, but for the last months, he seemed to deteriorate before my eyes.”
Sire: Sea Salute
Dam: Graceful Glory
Foal date: 2001He grew weaker over time, and Arthur never pushed him to perform hard. He had months and months off, been given a good life full of love, free-choice hay and hours of daily turnout on grass. But when he started to grow uncomfortable in recent weeks, developing a distended belly, the decision was made to bring him to New Bolton, she said.
“At one point he had 30 students in with him, along with the vets” performing an array of tests. This poor horse just went through so much,” she said.
Large masses and nodules were discovered on his lungs, and finally, with no more that could be done for him by man’s hands, the Thoroughbred nicknamed Big Bird was set free.
“He was an amazing horse. He made me a much better rider, and we had some good shows and good trips. I got my first score toward the USDF gold medal on him,” Arthur said, adding that though it was supposed to go differently for the great horse she purchased in 2011, she felt some relief that her amazing horse was finally free of the discomfort and illness.
Sea Lord rose to prominence with Silva Martin, achieving the distinction of becoming a Grand Prix dressage horse under her careful training. Martin began riding Sea Lord after noticing him in the barn of Olympian Phillip Dutton in 2007. In an earlier interview with Off Track Thoroughbreds.com, Silva Martin said, “I used to look at him and think that this was a really nice horse. You could just see it.”
And her instincts proved correct. She developed him into a “freak” of a performer so talented that he became a “dream to ride.”
*Click here for an earlier article about Sea Lord and Silva Martin: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2013/07/26/sea-lord-rules-as-racehorse-dressage-star-3/