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Event rider and horse fatally injured in rotational fall

An event rider and her horse have died following a rotational fall.

Canadian rider Katharine Morel was competing in an intermediate section at Rocking Horse Stables Winter III Horse Trials in Florida on Saturday (29 February) aboard eight-year-old thoroughbred mare Kerry On.

The pair had a rotational fall at fence eight and both were fatally injured.

Ms Morel, 33, was immediately taken to Waterman Hospital in Tavares by Lake County Emergency Medical Service, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

The horse died shortly after the fall.

“Today, the equestrian industry lost not just an exceptional athlete, but an exceptional person, as well as the horse she loved,” said Equestrian Canada’s (EC) high performance director, James Hood, speaking on Saturday.

“On behalf of EC, I extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Katharine, as well as to the entire team who surrounded Kerry On.”

Ms Morel took on the former racehorse as an off-the-track three-year-old and the pair had risen up the levels to make their FEI debut in 2019, jumping clear across country at all three CCI2* competitions they contested.

A statement from EC said the organisation “will work closely in cooperation with our sister federation, US Equestrian, to investigate the fall and continue developing methods to improve safety for riders and horses alike”.

A spokesman for the United States Eventing Association added:“The United States Eventing Association [USEA], Rocking Horse Stables Organising Committee, and competition officials send our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Katharine Morel.”

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