A Swedish-owned horse tunnel after the virus outbreak in Valencia

“It hurts so much to be forced to tell you that our little man Smokey lost the battle against the EHV-1 virus. Smokey was a little horse with a very big heart and a real fighter,” writes Irish contestant Thomas Ryan, who is based in Sweden.

Thomas Ryan gets along with Swedish national team contestant Erica Schwartz, and together they run their Sjöbo business.

Ryan and Schwartz competed with several horses during the Jumping Tour in Valencia, and late Tuesday evening, one of their horses was reported to have died since the horse had contracted the severe nervous form of the virus.

“The only thing that can comfort us now is knowing that it is finally pain free. I would like to thank all the vets here, at the CEU Clinic in Valencia and pferdeklinikniederlenz for everything they do to try to save our horses, and everyone on our team fights day and night for those they love”, Writes Thomas Ryan.

Smoky Suede owner Jump Horses Sweden, run by Victoria Sander, expressed her grief on Instagram.

“I am grateful to everyone who did everything they could for Smoky during his battle against the virus in recent weeks. His suffering is over today, but we will remember him forever. You will always have a place in my heart, little smokey.”

Just days before the Valencia competition was canceled, Smokey won the final of the competition for six years.

A total of 11 horses have died so far after the virus broke out during the jumping tour in Valencia.

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Read more: The tent in Valencia became a hotbed of infection – ten horses were killed

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