Canadian equestrian rider and horse dies following accident at competition

OTTAWA — Canadian rider Katharine Morel and her horse died Saturday after an accident at a competition in Florida, Equestrian Canada said.

The 33-year-old Morel, of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and her horse Kerry On, died following a rotational fall on course at the Rocking Horse Winter III Horse Trials in Altoona, Fla.

Morel and the eight-year-old thoroughbred mare suffered the fall at fence eight of the Intermediate level cross-country course at the United States Eventing Association recognized competition.

Equestrian Canada said Morel was immediately transported to Waterman Hospital in Tavares, Fla., where she later died of her injuries. Kerry On suffered fatal injuries and died shortly after the fall.

A rotational fall, which is among the most dangerous in the sport, is when horse and rider somersault, with the horse landing on its back.

“Today, the equestrian industry lost not just an exceptional athlete, but an exceptional person, as well as the horse she loved,” Equestrian Canada High Performance Director James Hood said in a statement posted on the organization’s website 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.”

Morel discovered Kerry On as an off-the-track three-year-old, and together the pair worked their way up the levels to make their FEI debut in 2019.

Equestrian Canada said it will work US Equestrian to investigate the fall and continue developing methods to improve safety for riders and horses alike.

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