It’s been a tough weekend at The Fork (NC), with the tragic loss of two horses — Will Coleman’s Conair and Andrew McConnon’s Powderhouse. Jenni Autry has the report.
Top: Will Coleman and Conair at The Fork this morning just before the accident. Photo by Jenni Autry.
Via Eventing Nation:
We’re heartbroken to confirm that Conair has died following an accident at fence 17 on the Advanced cross-country course at The Fork this morning. Conair looked wonderful at fence 16 when he galloped by me with Will Coleman in the irons, and the accident occurred just seconds later at fence 17, a big table to a cheese wedge. The Fork just released the following statement:
It was it with great sadness that we announce that Conair, ridden by Will Coleman and owned by the Conair Syndicate collapsed and died at The Fork event in Norwood, NC, USA at approximately 9:45 a.m. on the date above. Earlier Will and Conair had a fall on the Advanced cross country course and Conair proceeded to run back towards the barns. He was stopped and then transported to the barn for veterinary evaluation.
After the preliminary veterinary exam was completed, Conair collapsed and died. Cause of death has not yet been determined.
The entire organizing committee and officials extends its heartfelt condolences to Will Coleman and the Conair Syndicate at this difficult time.
I saw Conair gallop back by the mound complex after the accident, where he was caught by some spectators near the cross-country warmup. He looked fine when I saw him, so it’s incredibly shocking to lose him so suddenly. Will was up and OK after the fall, but he has reportedly gone to the hospital with his arm in a sling. We will update you on his status when we know more.
It’s heartbreaking to lose any horse, but it stings a bit more when it’s one with so much talent and potential. Will just got the horse last year from Rodney Powell, and the partnership had been coming along so nicely. Will and Joey were third in the Fair Hill CCI3* last fall and were meant to go to Rolex for the horse’s first four star later this month. It goes without saying that this is a tragic loss for both Will and High Performance eventing.
The EN team extends our deepest condolences to Will, Katie, Shannon and the syndicate members who owned the horse. Rest in peace, Joey.
Andrew McConnon and Powderhound just show jumped in the CIC2* here at The Fork, and Jessica Bortner-Harris has confirmed the horse collapsed back at the barns and passed away soon after. Andrew was on the horse when he fell, but Jessica confirmed Andrew was not injured in the fall. Everyone is very shaken up back at the barns, and we’re sending Andrew our deepest condolences. Rest in peace, Powderhound.
Update 3:35 p.m. EST: Powderhound’s passing has been confirmed by a statement released from The Fork. A 15-year-old Australian Sport Horse gelding, “Carlos” was competing in his first CIC2* event this weekend at The Fork. Andrew just took over the ride from Kaitlynn Mosing this past winter, and they were fourth in Preliminary at Pine Top Winter Horse Trials in their first outing together. Andrew and Carlos were most recently seventh in the CIC* at Pine Top Advanced and third in the Intermediate Rider division at Carolina International Horse Trials.
Update 6:15 p.m. EST: Andrew McConnon’s Facebook page was just updated with the following statement:
“It is hard to find words adequate enough to express the sorrow felt upon the tragic death of a loved horse and competitive partner, and those that know and love Andrew and Powderhound are indeed without words. Carlos was only in Andrew’s barn for a short while, but he was very much loved and very much appreciated for the warhorse he was. He was a wonderful event horse that knew his job and did it well, and we were all looking forward to watching their partnership grow. This tragedy is once again a reminder that we are so lucky to have horses in our lives, and must appreciate them every moment of every day. Hug your horse, and give Andrew a hug as well. Many thanks for all of your kind words.”
Go Conair and Powderhound.