Apr 24, 2020

Fernhill Flutter (2002-2020)

By USEA
Dr. Kevin Keane and Fernhill Flutter at Kentucky in 2014. USEA/Leslie Threlkeld Photo.

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.

Natasha Erschen and Fernhill Flutter at the 2019 AEC. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

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.

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