Tina Cook lost her World Equestrian Games 2014 companion, De Novo News. As reported by Horse & Hound, the horse developed a serious lung condition called shipping fever on the way back from competing at Strzegom, in Poland, last June. Despite showing some encouraging signs of recovery in September, he had to be put down on Tuesday, October 13.
Also known as travel sickness or pleuro-pneumonia, shipping fever is an inflammation of the lungs and the pleural cavity around them. It is caused by upper airways germs making their way and colonising a horse’s lower respiratory tract. Long-distance journeys, during which a horse has fewer opportunities to lower his head and get rid of mucus, make it easier for bacteria to move further down inside the chest, triggering the infection. Other contributing factors, along with a pre-existing chest condition, are limited ventilation, exposure to dust and debris, dehydration, and stress, which can lower a horse’s immune defences.
Although Cook carefully managed her horses’ return trip from Strzegom, taking long breaks, De Novo News still came down with the disease. He fought it for nearly four months, but eventually suffered from complications that led to him being put down.
The horse, by Last News out of Douce de Longvaut, had been produced by Cook, who had previously ridden his dame, in her West Sussex yard. Together, the pair won team silver at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and, more recently, first place at the Burnham Market Advanced class before finishing 15th at the Bramham CIC3*. Cook once said that she felt De Novo News had potential for Rio.
“We are extremely sad to learn of this news,” commented BE Chief Executive David Holmes. “Our thoughts are with Tina, owner Jim Chromiak and everyone connected to this horse.”
Image: Tina Cook and De Novo news by Adam Fanthorpe, courtesy of British Eventing