British event rider Eleanor Brennan died on Saturday of injuries sustained during the cross-country at the Florida International Three-Day Event and Ocala Fall Horse Trials. Brennan was 21.
Brennan’s horse, Mister Barnabus, was also fatally injured in the accident. Reports from the accident state that the horse struck a gate, fell onto his neck, and landed on Brennan. The horse died instantly and Brennan died shortly afterward in hospital, of head and chest injuries.
Event officials planned to review footage of the incident to determine the cause of the accident.
Mister Barnabus, a young Irish sport horse, had been with Brennan for a season. Last season the combination was successful at Intermediate level in the UK and competed at Burghley.
Brennan was a full-time rider who split her season between Gloucestershire in Britain and Carousel Farm in Charlottesville, Virginia. Recent news on her website said that Brennan had returned home to Virginia after three years in Britain, and had been invited to join Linda Wachtmeister’s Plain Dealing Farm, which was also home to the recently retired Winsome Adante and top US event rider Kim Severson. Whilst in Britain Brennan trained with Sandy and Mark Phillips, David Green, Gill Watson, Yogi Breisner, and Carl Hester.
At the age of 17 Brennan was the youngest advanced-level event rider in the USA. In her debut year at the level, she won the Area 2 (East Coast) Advanced Champion title. She was the youngest rider, at 18, to complete Badminton in 2005. Brennan also trained in equine business management, completed provisional certification to become a USEA instructor and was a USPC graduate/winner of the prestigious USPC Cavalry Award.
Brennan started riding after her family moved from Britain to Virginia, but was unable to ride in young rider teams as she was not a US citizen. It was trainer Kim Severson’s suggestion that she move back to the UK for a couple of years after finishing high school. She spent her Gap Year with Sandy Phillips in 2004.
Tributes flow for event rider Eleanor Brennan
November 21, 2007
Tributes to British event rider Eleanor Brennan, who was killed last Saturday during a three-day-event in Florida, are flowing into the US Eventing Association.
The association said that the tributes are from “those who knew her and who appreciated not only her talent as a rider, but also the outstanding qualities she possessed as a person. We share them here as a reminder of this young woman who touched the hearts of so many and who will never be forgotten.”
“The most important thing we’ve all been talking about when sharing her memories is that in such a short time, in 21 years, she lived a huge life. She had this incredible passion for eventing. Nothing was going to stop her. She knew what she wanted to do and she filled her passion with the most incredible determination and joy. We were so happy that she came to Plain Dealing. It was really exciting for all of us because she was such fun to be around. Having her back was wonderful.” Linda Wachtmeister
“Eleanor was a really positive person, diligent, hardworking, and an excellent student. I enjoyed every moment that we spent together and her focus was always on improving her riding skills. Her record of completing both Bramham and Badminton on her lovely horse Bailey testify to her dedication. There will be a huge void in the eventing world as she was full of fun and was a joy to be around.” Stephen Bradley
“I had the privilege to teach Eleanor on a couple of occasions and found her to be a lovely person who was dedicated to her horse, the sport, and improving her riding. I will remember Eleanor for these qualities and for her fun-loving spirit. My condolences to her family and friends for their tragic loss.” Phillip Dutton
“It is always tragic when something like this happens. My condolences go to her family and friends. She was a lovely, charming young lady and a good rider.” Yogi Breisner (British Eventing Team Manager)
“What a tragic loss for the sport and her family. Eleanor was always a very positive and confident person. She was somebody who was always looking forward and loved what she did.” Kim Severson
• Receive a notification when a new article is posted: