Aortic Rupture Cited in O'Connor Event Horse Death

According to a statement released on the U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Web site, preliminary necropsy findings on the horse Tigger Too, a 17-year-old gelding, show that he passed away from an acute abdominal aortic rupture. Final necropsy results are pending.

Tigger Too died while competing at this weekend's Jersey Fresh CCI***. The horse was owned by David O'Connor and ridden by Lauren Kieffer. Kieffer was not injured in Tigger Too's fall, which occurred on the cross-country course at fence 28.

Tigger Too

Tigger Too at the Jersey Fresh event.

An investigative panel of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI, the governing body of equestrian sport) has convened to look into the incident.

This latest death comes after two horses were euthanized after sustaining injuries during the cross-country portion of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event in late April. Another two horses died of cardiopulmonary-related problems at the Red Hills Horse Trials CIC***-W in Tallahassee, Fla., in March.

O'Connor is president of the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF). Following Rolex, he and USEA President Kevin Baumgardner released a letter concerning safety in eventing. Read it at Eventing Safety: Joint Letter from USEF and USEA Leaders.

The authors invited all members of the equestrian community to attend a USEF/USEA Safety Summit to be held in Lexington, Ky., June 7-8, and to e-mail suggestions to and/or  

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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