Royal Kaliber Recovering from Colic Surgery in the Netherlands

Lexington, KY –

Royal Kaliber, the stallion that took Chris Kappler to a silver Olympic team medal and an individual bronze medal in Athens last month, underwent colic surgery in Someren, the Netherlands late yesterday. He suffered a leg injury in the final round of the individual show jumping competition and he was being monitored in Europe before a decision was made to ship him back to the United States.

Dr. Jack Snyder and Dr. Barry David, who flew to the Netherlands from the United States, performed the surgery assisted by Dr. Edwin Enzerink of Veterinair Centrum Someren. According to Dr. Snyder, Royal Kaliber is doing well. He is drinking water, eating grass and sleeping normally. He had been suffering recurring bouts of chronic colic since the conclusion of the Olympic Games. Fluid on the stomach was building up causing chronic gastric reflux.

“We don’t ever want to do surgery if we don’t have to, but in the last four days it did become apparent surgery would be needed. After viewing the ultrasound, which showed possible intestinal adhesion, we determined it was best to operate now, before he lost any significant condition. When we went in the large intestine and small intestine had adhered together and to the spleen, which required removal of part of both the large and small intestine. He is critical but stable; the next 5 days are the most critical period.”

Dr. Snyder also said that Royal Kaliber’s tendon injury in his front leg was “doing great.” USEF team veterinarian Dr. Tim Ober has been with the horse treating him since the Olympic Games. On Friday Dr. Ober called in Dr. Snyder, a specialist in surgery and Dr. David, an internal medicine specialist. “I can say that the colic is not related to the leg. We will never know the cause and this type of problem is not directly stress related, it can happen at any time under any circumstances,” said Dr. Snyder.

The surgery was performed at the Veterinair Centrum Someren, a veterinary hospital with comprehensive equine facilities and expertise. “Their veterinary team assisting us was wonderful, and there couldn’t have been a more cooperative surgical team. They have been very accommodating,” said Dr. Snyder.

Sally Ike, Director of Show Jumping for the USEF, speaking on behalf of Chris and Jenny Kappler and the Kamine family, who co-own Royal Kaliber said, “Jenny and Luis Hernandez have stayed with Roy constantly since the Olympic Games and this has been very emotional for the Kapplers and the Kamines. Roy means a lot to them, he is a very special part of their lives and they know this surgery was absolutely necessary. They have great confidence in Dr. Snyder and Dr. David. Right now it’s a wait and see period, all of our hopes and prayers are with Roy.”

The Kapplers and Kamines have requested that anyone requesting further information please contact the USEF, Sally Ike in the Gladstone, New Jersey office, at (908) 234-0848 or via email at or Maria Partlow at the USEF headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at (859) 225-6941 or via email at


The United States Equestrian Federation Inc.(USEF), as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country’s largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.


The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.

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