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Jumping rider dies after fall at Wellington festival

March 1, 2012

Showjumping rider Donald V. Little, who was in a critical condition after a fall during the Masters Classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, has died.


Donald V. Little
Donald V. Little died peacefully on Wednesday afternoon from injuries sustained on Sunday, February 26, when his horse fell while jumping a fence during the Masters Classic in the International Arena.

Little, who was in his late 70s, reportedly fell on his head and injured his neck, after his horse Superiur stumbled at a jump. He was taken by helicopter to Delray Medical Center.

Judith A. Little, Don's wife of 57 years, said, "I will miss him so much. Donald died doing what he loved. He was loved and respected by so many people, including his fellow competitors, partners and team members in the horse worlds of polo, field hunting, show jumping and thoroughbred racing as well as in all other aspects of his life."

Don was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent most of his adult life as a resident of Ipswich, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and was an avid pilot and a US Air Force veteran, and was the youngest aircraft commander in the Strategic Air Command.

He was also captain of Myopia Hunt Club Polo for 18 years, past president of the United States Polo Association, current Master of the Foxhounds of the Myopia Hunt Club, and Founder and Chairman of Centennial Farms which raced winners of many stakes races, including the Belmont Stakes in 1993 and the inaugural Breeders Cup Dirt Mile in 2007. Professionally, he was a highly successful broker and investment manager at UBS and its predecessor companies, PaineWebber and Kidder Peabody.

In addition to his wife Judy, Don is survived by a son, Donald V. Little, Jr., and a daughter, Andrea Little Eaton, both of Ipswich, MA, a sister Patricia Moseley of Hamilton, MA, a brother, Crocker Snow, Jr. of Ipswich, MA, a brother, Andrew J. Little of Chipping Norton, England, and grandchildren Tapley D. Eaton, Donald V. Little, III, James D. Little and Isabella H. Eaton.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

 

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