The first day of the team dressage championships began today on a sad note, as the news circulated quickly thoughout the grounds of the sudden death by apparent colic, of Ryan Hite's partner Staatsman.
The 1998 Individual bronze medalist did not compete in the Preliminary class Wednesday, August 11, opting instead to begin in the Team Test.
After a good workout that day he became stressed late in the evening, and died in the trailer on the way to the vet clinic close to midnight.
Hites, riding from Region 6 trains with Roxanne Christenson of Woodinville, WA, Staatsman's former owner. The favorite for the Gold Medal instead sat bravely on the sidelines watching the class he was meant to have been in, consoled and supported by many who stopped by to express their concern.
Staatsman, a Hannoverian by Sandstrum was as much a part of the Woodinville Riding Center's family as any one of the close group who train and ride with Roxanne and husband Gary Baldwin. Hites, has lived and trained there since he was 15, and is often mistaken for Roxanne and Gary's son. Our deepest sympathies are joined with all the Young Riders who have been surrounding Ryan and Roxanne with their condolences.