On Sunday, November 6 2011, the Dutch Warmblood collapsed shortly after completing a round in Verona, where the pair were targeting not only the final in April 2012, but also the London Olympics.
At those Games, Hickstead should have defended the individual jumping title he won in Beijing.
An autopsy diagnosed the cause of death as an aortic rupture and the Verona Grand Prix records simply state "non disputa", after the event was cancelled.
The question remains: who will follow Dutchman Jeroen Dubbeldam and his horse BMC van Grunsven Simon, winner of the World Cup in 2010?
Dubbeldam himself is in a good position to repeat, as he stands in second place in the provisional rankings on 35 points, three behind Spaniard Sergio Alvarez Moya.
Swiss Pius Schwizer, winner in Lyon, is in third on 32 points while Frenchman Kevin Staut is fourth (30) and Britain's Scott Brash in fifth (25).