Two more horses die after traffic accident

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Icarus and Michael Pollard. © Pollard eventing

Two more horses from Michael Pollard’s eventing team have died as the result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident in Georgia on Friday.

Pollard reported the death of both Icarus (Fly) and Jude’s Law on Sunday. Jude’s Law was euthanized because of a ruptured cecum caused by the trauma of the trailer accident, and Icarus was euthanised at Rood & Riddle Veterinary Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, on Saturday, where he had undergone surgery.

The stallion VDL Ulando H died at the scene of the accident near Chatsworth, when a vehicle pulled out in front of the vehicle carrying the horses. Ulando, owned by Ruth Armstrong, sustained head and neck injuries.

Icarus was a 14 year old thoroughbred gelding, owned by Michael and Nathalie Pollard.

Jude’s Law was an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse Gelding owned by Michael Pollard and John Bryant. He at first appeared to have only external injuries, but became distressed on Sunday morning. He was rushed to Rood & Riddle and was diagnosed with a ruptured cecum, which is part of the large intestine. He was euthanised while under anesthetic.

“This is a nightmare that I can’t seem to wake up from,” Michael Pollard said.” This horse was so special to me and yet at the moment I just feel numb. He looked like he was going to be fine in a few weeks. I am absolutely crushed.”

Jude’s Law, pictured with previous rider Beth Temkin in 2010.
Jude’s Law, pictured with previous rider Beth Temkin in 2010. © US Eventing Assn

Jude joined the Pollard Eventing Team in July 2011. He competed Advanced with his previous rider, Beth Temkin, including Rebecca Farm CIC***, under the ownership of Hilary Bates who rode him at Training Level. With Michael he was runner up at the Richland Park CIC 2* in 2011. This season he won the Pine Top Spring Advanced Horse Trials and the Southern Pines Advanced Horse Trials before going to Jersey Fresh earlier this month to finish runner up in the CCI3*. He was one of twenty horses still in contention for the 2012 Olympic Games and was the third ranked USEA horse through the first half of the year.”

Icarus sustained serious injuries in the accident, resulting in a severed ligament and deep lacerations surrounding his right hind fetlock joint. Following intensive treatment at the Pollard Eventing Training Center in Dalton, Georgia, Icarus was shipped to Rood & Riddle for surgery. Despite every effort by Dr Chris Newton and his team the extent of injuries presented no other option but to save the horse from further pain. Michael Pollard was with Icarus, having driven the horse to Lexington.

“He was the best horse in the world who just never quite made it – mostly my fault, and certainly not his,” Pollard said. “He brought me out of relative obscurity. He was just a special soul and everyone that worked with him felt the same. He was a family member and it will not be the same without him in the barn.”

Nathalie added: “My heart is really broken. I have loved this horse since the day I laid eyes on him eight years ago at the Kentucky Horse Park. He was stunning, and radiated beauty from the inside out. He was an exceptional athlete who never once quit or let us down. He was a good man with a heart of gold. He was my friend, and his absence will be felt painfully for some time.”

‘Fly’ came to the team as a Preliminary horse and successfully ascended to Advanced with Nathalie. Michael took on the ride in 2009. Some of his many notable achievements include winning the 2009 Jersey Fresh CCI***, the Zeppa International Trophy as well a 19th place finish at the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, and a Land Rover High Performance Grant to compete at 2011 Burghley. Fly competed at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event just last month.

The other horses in the accident were Schoensgreen Hanni (Hanni), a 9 year old German Warmblood mare owned by Nathalie Pollard, who suffered some superficial cuts. Carl Bouckaert’s Raphael, who won the Chatt Hills Open Preliminary division last week, sustained some bruising. Little Star, a brood mare, suffered cuts to her hind legs.



2 thoughts on “Two more horses die after traffic accident

  • May 30, 2012 at 2:33 am

    This is so heartbreaking to read. Our sympathy goes to Michael Pollard, the team and all who knew and loved the horses.

  • June 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

    So sad to hear. My sympathy to the people who own and take care of these wonderful horses. A loss of a special horse is always a hard loss.


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