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.
Wrapping up an exciting weekend of competition, young horses from all over the planet gathered together in Le Lion d’Angers, France for the final phase of the 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses. This year’s Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize recipients Cole Horn and MBF Cooley Permission to Land (Cobra x Deeply Dippy K) finished out an educational weekend in the 7-year-old championships in 31st out of 58 pairs.
Florida-based Swedish rider Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis galloped around clear and fastest of the day on Saturday to take the lead in the inaugural CCI4*-S, sponsored by B&D Builders, at The Event at TerraNova. Jarnstrom-Dennis and her Hanoverian mare Flower Girl (Futurist x Lucy) were fourth after dressage on 30.8. Not a single horse-and-rider combination made the optimum time; she added 10.8 time penalties to lead on 41.6.
Fresh off a top 15 finish in the CCI3*-L at the Maryland 5 Star, Cosby Green is back in Lexington attending class at the University of Kentucky (UK). The 21-year-old is an undergraduate student, a team member and the social chair of the UK eventing team, has two upper-level event horses, Copper Beach and Highly Suspicious, and a young horse, McCreary, who she rode on the winning team of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.
Course designer Pierre Michelet's cross-country courses for the 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion were extravagant as always and put young horses to the ultimate test in the 6- and 7-year-old Championships. The 2021 Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize recipients Cole Horn and MBF Cooley Permission to Land (Cobra x Deeply Dippy K) move forward after the final phase sitting in 30th overnight on a score of 55.8.