US eventing horse Tortuga Bay has died following an accident at the Pine Top Farm Thanksgiving Horse Trials in Thomson, Georgia, at the weekend.
Owned by Natalie Hummel and ridden by Ashley Kehoe, Tortuga Bay collapsed while jumping the sixth fence on the preliminary cross-country on Sunday.
It is suspected that Tortuga Bay – known as Mickey at home – suffered an aneurysm. He was attended by veterinarians Dr Bill Hay and Dr Anne Baskett.
The thoroughbred gelding is being taken to the University of Georgia for a full necropsy.
Kehoe, who was not injured in the accident, told Eventing Nation: “I am absolutely gutted, and devastated for owner, and good friend, Natalie Hummel. Mickey was one of the sweetest horses I have ever met, so genuine and all heart. I feel privileged to have known him. He will be sadly missed.”
Kehoe is part of the Pollard Eventing team, based in Georgia, and started riding Mickey in October.
Michael Pollard said: “Mickey was a real trier, and he will be truly missed. We are not sure what happened or why at this point, but we hope to receive more info after his examination at UGA vet hospital.
“I would like to extend a thank you to the Wilson’s, the Pine Top crew, the vets on scene, and farriers for the compassionate and capable manner things were handled on scene and post.
“Please keep Mickey, Natalie, and Ashley in your thoughts over the coming days.”