Rotational fall claims life of British eventer on US cross-country

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Philippa Humphreys in action on Rich N Famous.
Philippa Humphreys in action on Rich N Famous. © Philippa Richards Humphreys / Brant Gamma Photos

British-born eventing rider Philippa Humphreys has died following a cross-country fall in a three-star horse trials event in the US, not long after a horse was fatally injured at the same event.

Humphreys, 33, suffered a rotational fall from Rich N Famous at the 16th fence, a table obstacle, on the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh International at 12:38pm on Saturday. She was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in nearby Hamilton, New Jersey, where she was pronounced dead by the attending physician.

» Horse and rider eventing deaths

Jersey Fresh safety officer Rusty Lowe said when Humphreys fell, a nurse who was a bystander went to her aid and initiated CPR.

“Medical staff were dispatched immediately and arrived within 45 seconds. Resuscitative measures were taken, and advanced life support were given. She was attempted to be resuscitated on the scene, and was transported to a local trauma center where she was pronounced dead approximately one hour later.”

Lowe continued: “The medical staff that was on duty here today did a tremendous job and gave a heroic effort to attempt to treat and resuscitate Philippa. Unfortunately, her injuries were severe enough that she could not be resuscitated.”

Her horse, Rich N Famous, a 13-year-old pinto Dutch-thoroughbred cross by Rainbow, was uninjured in the accident.

Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event chairman Dan Wunderlich said: “All of us connected with the Jersey Fresh International are deeply saddened by today’s tragic news and we extend our condolences to Philippa’s husband, Peter, and to her entire family.”

The event continued as scheduled after the accident.

Through her career Humphreys had qualified several horses at two-star level, and had qualified Sir Donovan for the 4* Kentucky Three-Day-Event, but the horse had to be withdrawn because of a lung infection.

Humphreys, a British citizen, moved to the US from Cheshire in her 20s. She was living in Rockford, Michigan, and is survived by her husband, Peter, and six-month-old baby daughter Millie.

Humphreys’ death is the third by a three-day-eventing rider in three months, following Australians Olivia Inglis, 17, in March and Caitlyn Fischer, 19, in April.

Only this week Australian researcher Dr Kirrilly Thompson wrote about the risks of eventing, and riding in general.

Inoui van Bost and Skylar Decker at The Fork CIC 2 Star last month.
Inoui van Bost and Skylar Decker at The Fork CIC 2 Star last month. © RNS Video Media/Youtube

Inoui Van Bost suffers fatal injuries

Inoui Van Bost, ridden in the CCI2* at Jersey Fresh by Skylar Decker, was seriously injured in a fall at the 19th fence, a trakehner.

Inoui Van Bost was transported to New Jersey Equine Clinic in Millstone, New Jersey, where the decision was made that he be humanely euthanized.

He was an eight-year-old Belgian warmblood bred in Belgium and by Catoki.

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3 thoughts on “Rotational fall claims life of British eventer on US cross-country

  • May 16, 2016 at 3:24 am
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    Perhaps it is time to rethink the difficulty of the jumps…. sad as it is to see the lives snuffed out in what should be, but now is not, a pleasant, rather challenging recreation, it is, unfortunately, the horses which have no choice in this dreadful, anti-humane horse “sport”!

    Reply
    • May 16, 2016 at 8:55 am
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      What a tragedy on many levels…..the death of the rider, the loss to her family and the community and the ongoing compromise of the safety and health of the horses who give their all. Yes, let’s rethink this.

      Reply
  • June 9, 2016 at 7:40 am
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    Rotational falls and living in the dark ages with fence design. It was not necessary for humpfreys to have died for a sport she loved. Even the best and bravest get hurt in this sport– as it stands. let the people with the talent to go forward in a new way, make it happen.

    Reply

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