Kingston Dies from Colic

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Kingston ridden by Leslie Morse at the 2008 Olympic selection trials. © Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com
Kingston ridden by Leslie Morse at the 2008 Olympic selection trials. © Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Kingston, the powerful stallion who was the U.S. reserve for two Olympics for Leslie Morse, has died from a colic at his California stable. He was aged 18.

Kingston, by Voltaire out of a Burggraaf mare and registered KWPN, had not competed at international level for almost two years but as an Oldenburg approved breeding stallion was producing a crop of sought-after foals.

“Kingston will always be my shining star, as he has been from the beginning,” Leslie said after reporting the news. “Kingston’s light will never fade.”

The weather in Southern California went from cold to over 100 degrees fahrenheit (38C)  and Kingston had an acute attack of colic. He could not make it to the trailer to get to the hospital.

“On the driveway next to his in-laid shoes he went down,” she said. And we could not get him up. We put a pillow under his head.

“Laura (Petroff), Dorte  and I  sat with him and shared the amazing life Kingston enabled us to be a part of.”

USA's Leslie Morse and Kingston at the 2004 Olympic selection trials. © 2004 Ken Braddick
USA's Leslie Morse and Kingston were named traveling reserve for the U.S. team at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Kingston, trained and ridden by Leslie, were a world class combination for the past decade competing at small tour in 2001 to Grand Prix until last year.

The pair accumulated national and international accolades including  twice being selected as traveling reserve for two Olympics, in Athens in 2004 and the Beijing Games in 2008

Leslie and Kingston represented the U.S. at World Cup Finals and at premier horse shows around the world and across the United States and won three U.S. National Championships.

Among the breedings for Kingston was one to Brentina, the mare that Debbie McDonald rode to Olympic, WEG and World Cup medals. The two horses were friends from their many travels together, often going on what Leslie described as “dates” in hacking out together.