Updated October 9, 2019
Morven Park is deeply saddened to announce that a rider fatality occurred during cross-country schooling on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
Nicolle Villers-Amatt suffered a fall while jumping a log fence at the Preliminary level. The rider received immediate medical attention and was transported to a local hospital. The horse suffered superficial injuries.
Villers-Amatt, age 40, has been eventing since the 1990s. She competed successfully through the Advanced level and competed the great Theodore O’Connor at the beginning of his career at the Preliminary and CCI* (now CCI2*-L) level.
“It is with great sadness that me and my daughter lost my wife and mother yesterday due to a catastrophic riding accident,” said Neil Amatt in a statement on Facebook. “Nicolle died doing what she loved. It was quick and painless, and she was not alone – I thank Katie MacSwain for being with her. She was the best mother and wife any man could ask for.”
Villerse-Amatt lived in Hamilton, Virginia with her husband Neil and 2-year-old daughter Zara. She ran Five Point Performance Horses, a business developing young event horses and fox hunters.
“Details of Nicolle’s memorial service we will be announced at a later date. Please keep her mother and our daughter in your prayers,” concluded Amatt.
“The staff and Trustees of Morven Park are devastated to hear of the accident that occurred on course today,” said Sheryl Williams, Morven Park’s Executive Director. “We join everyone in the equestrian community in sending our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the rider involved.”
The USEA sends its deepest condolences to the rider's family, friends, and connections.
The 21 members of the USEA Board of Governors represent all the different factions of the U.S. eventing community, including professional riders, adult amateurs, owners, organizers, officials, veterinarians, and more. There is a president, one representative for each of the 10 USEA Areas, and the remaining 10 represent the demographics of the sport.
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