Dressage Champion Kingston Succumbs to Colic

Kingston, owned and ridden by Leslie Morse, has died following an acute attack of colic in California.

October 12, 2010 — Kingston, the 18-year-old licensed Oldenburg stallion (Voltaire x Burgraaf), who represented the U.S. internationally with owner-rider Leslie Morse, died Oct. 11 after an acute colic attack.

Leslie Morse and Kingston in the 2008 Olympic trials | © 2008 by Nancy Jaffer

The winner of three U.S. National Championships, he was the 2005 U.S. Dressage Federation Horse of the Year.

Kingston also was the alternate for the 2004 Olympic Games and named the traveling reserve for the 2008 Olympic Games, but Leslie bowed out before going to Hong Kong.

A veteran of three World Cup finals, Kingston performed on U.S. teams that won bronze medals at two CDIO finals. His freestyle to the music from “Pirates of the Caribbean” was memorable and a highlight of the 2008 Olympic trials. Leslie, who rode Kingston for the better part of her professional career, said when her horse was stricken, “He couldn’t make it to the hospital. I wrapped my arms around him and sat with him for two hours with three friends.”

He died at Kings Court, Leslie’s training facility in Hidden Hills, Calif.

“What a life we shared,” she said.

“I think of all the places, arenas, cities, countries that we went together and it will keep me bright. Kingston was the gift of all gifts, he inspired me to be the best I could be daily.”

His owner noted that “Kingston has left an important legacy,” passing his qualities on to his babies.

“I have such high hopes for them.His light will never fade,” Leslie said.

In addition to Leslie’s own Kingston progeny, Debbie McDonald’s great partner, Brentina, produced an embryo transfer baby named Brighton with Kingston earlier this year.