Fernhill Flutter sadly passed away on April 22 due to colic. He was 18 years old. Fernhill Flutter (Puissance x Warrior Queen) was bred in Ireland by Samuel Smyth and was given the name Butterfly Orchid. He got his start in eventing in Italy and competed through the CCI3*-L level before being sold to Dr. Kevin Keane at the age of 8. Dr. Keane brought “Butterfly” to the U.S. and brought him through the levels all the way to CCI5*.
In 2011 the pair finished sixth at the Bromont CCI2* (now CCI3*-L) and went on to finish fourth in their Advanced debut at Millbrook. The following year they finished third at the Fair Hill CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) and third at the Bromont CCI3* (now CCI4*-L). They competed at their first Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2014 placing 28th. They returned the following year, but retired on course.
In 2016 Butterfly began the next stage of his career – teaching young riders the ropes of the upper levels. He competed with Morgan McCue through Intermediate and then was purchased by Natasha Erschen. With Erschen Butterfly won the 2018 Fork CIC1* (now CCI2*-S) and the Fitch’s Corner JYOP the same year.
McCue said in a statement on Facebook “Today my family and I received the news that Fernhill Flutter has passed away. He was an absolutely tremendous horse and I felt honored whenever I got on his back. Thank you, Kevin for allowing me to learn from this horse. Thank you Bfly for everything.”
Erschen said, “Oh Butterfly, I still cannot believe it’s true. You were the greatest friend, I will truly miss you everyday.”
The USEA sends its sincerest condolences to all of Fernhill Flutter’s connections.
There were surprisingly few shakeups to the top of the leaderboards Friday at the MARS Bromont CCI, but the incredibly close scores leave no margin for error heading into Saturday’s exciting cross-country phase across all five levels.
Tomorrow, the first of five regional clinics for the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) Program kicks off in the central region of the country in Benton, Louisiana, at Holly Hill Farm. Throughout the summer, the remaining clinics on the East and West Coast will follow. At each clinic, 12 hand-selected riders will participate in a two-day clinic led by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) coaches. The purpose of the EA21 program is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
After the first day of competition, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach and her horse FE Golden Eye lead an international field in the CCI4*-L division of the MARS Bromont CCI.