The equestrian community has been rocked by the deaths of four event horses in a road traffic collision.
Nick Gauntlett’s Party Trick and Sophie Hulme’s Charisma TH, Farytale Cooley and Ice Cool Cooley were travelling to the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials yesterday afternoon (24 August) when the horsebox broke down on the A9. A lorry on the road collided with the horsebox, resulting in the death of all four horses on board. Two men from the lorry were taken to hospital.
Party Trick was the nine-year-old stallion son of Badminton winner Chilli Morning and had competed at four-star level with Nick.
“My amazing family are fine and that is definitely the main thing,” Nick said in a statement. “But today we lost Party Trick having broken down just 30 minutes from Blair Castle. We sat on the grass verge and watched a lorry… plough into our truck. You don’t need the details but we lost all four horses on board.
“We are obviously all heartbroken. Lucy Morgan and Asha Riches-Wood, the emergency services, vets and people generally were amazing. Thank you everyone for your words of support and offers of help. The eventing world yet again proving what an amazing family it is.”
In a statement Sophie said she was at Blair when the collision happened.
“Three of my lovely horses, my precious babies are gone. Taken far too soon from this world. My beautiful Charisma and Feyre are gone and my lovely Fintan as well. I’m so sorry for Nick and [his wife] Amanda and for their loss,” it read.
“The world can be such a cruel place. My world is completely upside down at the moment. Thank you to everyone who has messaged and reached out to me. I am slowly working my way through all the messages. It’s going to be hard for a while and it’s going to be tough, but the best we can do is soldier on. Everyone please give your horses an extra hug and kiss from me as you never know what might happen.”
A Police Scotland spokesman told H&H officers were called to a report of a crash involving two lorries on the A9 at Cairney Brae, near Perth.
“Police, fire and ambulance attended and two men from one of the lorries were taken by Ninewells Hospital in Dundee,” he said.
“We can confirm that two of the horses died and two had to be euthanised by vets. The road was closed until around 9.30pm.”