The Jersey Fresh horse trials in the US have been again marred by the death of a horse on the cross-country.
Phillip Dutton’s horse Bailey Wick died after a somersault fall at a jump on the cross-country of the three-star division of the event, in Allentown, New Jersey, at the weekend.
A year ago, Tigger Too, owned by US Equestrian Federation president David O’Connor, died of an acute abdominal aortic rupture while on the cross-country.
On Saturday, Bailey Wick, a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Pallas Digion, fell at fence 20, a straightforward oxer. Media reports indicate the horse somersaulted over the fence, landing on his neck and throwing Dutton clear.
Witnesses said Dutton asked for a long stride before the jump, but Bailey Wick put in a short stride instead at the base of the obstacle, and then fell over the fence.
Bailey Wick was euthanised and at the request of the owners, Acorn Hill Farm, a necropsy was not performed.
Dutton was uninjured in the fall and continued the competition and rode several other horses in the event.
The former Australian rider said Bailey Wick was jumping a perfect round up until fence 20.
“I take full responsibility for this fall,” the two-time Olympic gold medalist said.
“My deepest sympathies and gratitude go to his owners Jess and Sharon Sweely, who bred Bailey and brought him along as a young horse, Emily Basheer, who rode and competed him to preliminary level, and to my groom, Emma Ford who meticulously looked after Bailey as if he were her own child.
“I want to thank the officials, support crew, and veterinarians at Jersey Fresh and my fellow riders who have been so supportive,” Dutton said.
Bailey Wick and Dutton placed fifth in the two-star class at the event last year.
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