The gelding’s breeder and owner KC Branscomb and the U.S. Equestrian Federation disagree about what caused the fatal pulmonary hemorrhaging. Branscomb believes her horse died as a result of anaphylactic shock brought on by an intravenous injection of Selevit, Legend, Adequan and arnica administered by USEF team veterinarian Dr. Diego Ulibarri, MVZ, minutes before the horse started seizing and collapsed.

USEF officials, on the other hand, say the report indicates the pulmonary hemorrhage was brought on by strenuous exercise in the horse. Roughly two hours before his death, “Chromatic” had jumped to third place in the second round of the World Cup Final.


“We have received the final necropsy report for Chromatic BF, who passed away at the FEI World Cup Finals in April,” USEF said in a statement updated Tuesday afternoon for clarity. “The cause of the death was severe diffuse pulmonary hemorrhage and edema, which could be attributed to multiple causes, including disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), cardiopulmonary failure, shock and exercise-associated fatal pulmonary hemorrhage. The report further indicates that the histopathologic findings raise the suspicion of fatal equine exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, despite Chromatic BF not exhibiting any overt signs of such condition. According to the final report, the administered medications were not identified as the cause of death. Dr. Stephen Schumacher, USEF Chief Veterinary Officer indicated the necropsy report is not conclusive as to the cause of the hemorrhage and edema.”

 Branscomb, who received the final necropsy report Monday, June 10, was upset to see the list of medications present in Chromatic’s blood, and said she is angry that Ulibarri did not disclose the full slate of medications Chromatic was administered on the evening of April 18, even after repeated questioning. While she initially believed him to be contrite, she now feels she was deliberately misled.

USEF is wrong to be emphasizing the possibility that Chromatic’s death was caused by exercise-associated fatal pulmonary hemorrhage, she said, when it was at least an hour and a half between the end of competition and the horse’s death and the horse wasn’t showing signs of distress in the interim. She thinks it’s much more likely that the injection administered minutes before the horse’s collapse led to his death.

Branscomb is now considering legal action against the USEF.

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