The husband of late Canadian eventing rider Katharine Morel has raised nearly $20,000 in a bid to help horse trials organisers fit safety equipment to fences.
Morel and her mare Kerry On both died following a rotational fall on the cross-country of an intermediate level event in Florida on February 29.
Morel’s husband, Scott Linklater, said the accident should never have happened, and “the worst part is, there is technology that has been invented to prevent exactly this occurrence”.
“On Saturday, February 29, Kat and Kerry left the start box like any other day. They never expected that they wouldn’t be coming home. Fence #8 on the Intermediate course at Rocking Horse claimed both of their lives.”
Linklater said frangible fence technology is not in use at all facilities or all events because of the cost of purchasing, installing and continuing use. “The price of these items should never cost another horse or rider their life simply for doing something they love.”
The Katharine Morel & Kerry On Eventing Safety Fund aims to raise $250,000 to provide funding to all event venues across Canada that wish to upgrade any of their jumps at the preliminary level and beyond to include frangible or MIM technology.
“Equestrian Canada and the individual provincial organizations already cover some of these costs but it’s not nearly enough. These systems can cost up to $2500 each to install. We want to fill in that gap. But we can’t do it alone,” Linklater said.
Through the fund, individual eventing venues throughout Canada that host at least one EC sanctioned event each year will be able to submit a proposal for the fences they wish to upgrade, and request that the fund covers the cost. All frangible or MIM devices must be installed by a certified EC course builder or designer, or an individual who has received training directly from the manufacturer on their proper use and installation.
“It may be too late for Kat and Kerry but if the tragic loss of their lives can lead to improved safety in their beloved sport, then maybe we can find a little light in this darkness. Please help us while we try to #KerryOnForKat.”