Today was another dark day for eventing.
The United States Eventing Association is reporting that Laine Ashker's Eight St. James Place collapsed and died at the finish line on cross-country day of the Jersey Fresh*** horse trials at the New Jersey Horse Park. According to the web site, an FEI investigative panel has been convened to review the circumstances surrounding the collapse, and a necropsy will be done.
Biographical information about the horse from the Crow's Ear Farm web site: "Jamie", as the horse was called, was a 12-year-old off-track Thoroughbred from California bought by Laine's mother as a resale prospect. Instead, he turned into a keeper and carried Laine to high-placing results at the Junior Olympics, Young Riders championship, around the Rolex (Kentucky) event twice, as well as Fair Hill, etc. In 2005 they were the highest scoring Americans at the Blenheim*** in England.
The rising-star rider is also a blogger; you can read her notes on this horse on her blog at http://www.laineashker.blogspot.com; she describes taking the horse to Dr. Reynolds Cowles at Blue Ridge Equine Clinic for a "spa" treatment before leaving for the event.
Laine's web site is http://laineashker.com/