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.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
While Great Britain has a strong lead in the team competition at Tokyo 2020 after the second session of dressage, the USA has climbed up two places to ninth courtesy of Phillip Dutton’s score of 30.5 on Z.
The world number one Oliver Townend has put Great Britain in gold medal position after the first of three sessions of dressage at the Tokyo Olympics.
Second into the arena, Townend delivered an extremely accurate performance and did not waste a mark on the flea-bitten grey 14-year-old Ballaghmor Class to score 23.6 - the fifth-best mark by a British rider at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings.
It’s the turn of the world’s best eventing athletes to stand under the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spotlight over the next few days as all but one of the horses presented at this morning’s horse inspection at Baji Koen Equestrian Park were confirmed for action by the Ground Jury.