Old milkman and his cart
Old milkman and his cart

Owner finishes Ekka run after tragic horse death

IN a show of outback spirit the owner of a clydesdale horse that passed away at the first EkkaNites program, last night completed the show's 10-night run at the Ekka.

The Courier-Mail understands Dean Rheinberger from Denmore Park Harness Horses was given the option of pulling out of the show after the death of his horse but chose to continue.

The horse has been one of eight Clydesdales pulling a wool wagon as part of the arena show that according to the Ekka media guide was designed to show case the "strength, power and presence of the clydesdale horses …"

The horses had just completed the show on the first night of the Ekka and were leaving the arena when the one of the horses collapsed.

On-site vets tried to save the animal, but it could not be revived.

Since then there has been a groundswell of support for the owner and handlers on social media.

"As a horse owner myself I can only imagine the pain this family is going through," someone posted on the Ekka Facebook page.

Another wrote " Although the show is a celebration of life the passing of this beautiful horse was a reminder of the cycle of life and to love, appreciate what we have right now."

"The owners of this beautiful animal must be devastated especially with it happening on the opening night in front of a crowd of thousands, To these people our hearts go out to at this sad time."

Last night Mr Rheinberger opened the final night of A Drovers Tale, although this time there were only four horses pulling the wagon.

An autopsy into the horse's death was carried out but the report was not expected to be finalised until after the Ekka.