SpectraVET Performance of the Week: Arthur’s Last Dance

A heart condition forced the retirement of Allison Springer’s longtime eventing partner Arthur — but the pair went out in style with one final dance in the dressage at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Leslie Threlkeld/Eventing Nation

Eventer Allison Springer and her horse Arthur are an iconic pair — they’ve competed in 38 FEI competitions, finished second in the 2012 Rolex and won a USEF National Championship. They’ve inspired a generation of eventers to work hard and dream big even with challenging, spooky horses and proved what can be accomplished by a long-term partnership.

While preparing for what would be the pair’s eighth Rolex start, Arthur’s veterinary team discovered an aortic regurgitation — a degenerative condition fairly common in aging horses, but the severity of which led the veterinary team, Springer and the members of the Arthur Syndicate to the conclusion that retirement from eventing was in the horse’s best interest. Arthur was approved for pure dressage and even some show jumping, but the condition is too severe for the rigors of cross-country.

To thank Arthur’s many fans and give the horse the fitting retirement he so deserved, Springer and Arthur were granted the opportunity to perform the dressage test at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the final ride on Friday afternoon:

A standing ovation brought Springer and Arthur home as the equestrian community honored this partnership. Thank you, Arthur — we wish you the happiest of retirements!

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