‘We are heartbroken’: rider dies after fall in competition

  • A “wonderful, respected” rider has died as the result of a fall at a showjumping event in the US.

    Wayne Barr, 59, suffered a fatal accident on Saturday (22 July) while he was competing at the Saratoga Summer Celebration in Stillwater, New York.

    A spokesman for Saratoga Horse Shows said Mr Barr was riding his eight-year-old Belgian warmblood gelding Pacco in a training jumper class when the “distance to the jump came up wrong”.

    “In the jump-off, the horse had an awkward jump that unseated Wayne off to the right,” the spokesman said. “Wayne managed to hold on for several strides, but subsequently, he fell off the horse. The ambulance was on site within minutes, and he was immediately transported to Albany Medical Center where he later passed. Wayne’s sons, Thomas and Spencer, along with the entire Kulak Equestrian family, are truly heartbroken.”

    Mr Barr was president, chief executive and director of INNOVATE Corp, which extended its sympathies to his family.

    Trainer Marcia Kulak said: “There are no words to adequately express how we feel. We can take some solace in knowing that Wayne loved his family and his equestrian endeavours with his horses. He was truly a special gentleman, and his passing has left an enormous hole in our hearts.”

    The horse was uninjured, said the event spokesman, who added: “The Saratoga Horse Shows team wishes to extend our sincere, heartfelt, and deepest condolences and sympathy to Mr Barr’s family and friends. Wayne was a wonderful, well-respected exhibitor, and we too are heartbroken.”

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