American amateur event rider Christine Brown was killed last Wednesday (10 July) while training at home in Kentucky.

Christine, 44, from Versailles, near Lexington — home of the Rolex Horse Trials — fell while jumping her five-year-old Shire X Hackney, Sammy alone at home.

She severed her spinal column at the C5 vertebrae in her neck upon impact.

A lifelong equestrian and accomplished eventer, Christine, was buried in the purple cross-country colours that she wore aboard her mare, Rivella, with whom she competed to intermediate level.

The Eventing Nation website posted a tribute to Christine, describing her  lifelong association with horses.

“Christine served the local eventing community with gusto,” it read. “She was USEA [United States Eventing Association] chairman of Area VIII for several years.

“While she did not have children of her own, Christine spent countless hours trailering aspiring young eventers to competitions, single-handedly helping them accomplish their riding dreams and goals.”

Christine’s close friend, Kathleen Sullivan, told Eventing Nation: “There are probably 20 kids in Area VIII that owe where they are today to Christine stepping up and being like their Mom. She was one of those people who was always there when you needed her.”

An estimated crowd of 1,000 attended the rider’s wake on 13 July.

Her friends and family are hoping to raise $10,000 in order to dedicate a portion of a new horse path at the Kentucky Horse Park — site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games — in her memory.

“Her section will be marked with a special plaque and will overlook part of the cross-country course,” said Kathleen Sullivan.

“This will benefit everyone who ever rides at Rolex in the future, as the Dedicated Horse Path will have good footing that gives the horses and riders a safe way to go between every barn and arena,” she added.