Oct. 8, 2004 — Royal Kaliber, one of the United States most brilliant horses ever to compete internationally in show jumping, was humanely euthanized today in the Netherlands.
He underwent colic surgery for intestinal adhesions, on Sept. 27 and had been recovering well until two days ago when his progress considerably slowed. Royal Kaliber took Chris Kappler to a team silver medal and an individual bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
According to Dr. Tim Ober, a veterinarian for the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) team, “His discomfort began at noon yesterday and by this morning it was obvious we needed to go in surgically for another look. We found more adhesions in the intestine that were not repairable. We had no options since we would have had to leave him with a gastro-intestinal tract that was insufficient; therefore, we had no choice but do the humane thing and euthanize him. Jenny Kappler and Luis Hernandez stayed with Roy right to the end; it’s a very hard time for them, and all his connections.”
“Roy meant so much to us, not just as a great competitor, but as a part of our family and lives,” said Kathy Kamine, who co-owned Royal Kaliber with Chris and Jenny Kappler. “We are devastated by his loss but we know we have made the right decision for him. The prognosis was poor, and we have complete faith in the veterinary team that tended to Roy. I believe we all did everything we could to save him.”
“Our hearts go out to the Kamines and Kapplers. We have lost a great competitor and member of our USEF family. These are the toughest moments in our sport but the time when we lend support to people who continue to contribute so much,” said John Long, Chief Executive Officer of the USEF.
Condolences for the Kapplers and Kamines may be sent via email to [email protected]. Messages will be forwarded to them.