From the United States Equestrian Federation comes an official statement regarding the third equine fatality in one week at East Coast horse trials:
Raeford, NC - Task Force, owned by JC Chester and ridden by Jan Byyny, suffered a catastrophic hind leg injury and was humanely euthanized today during the warmup at Southern Pines II Horse Trials in Raeford, North Carolina.
Task Force, a 16-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding, had enjoyed a storied career in eventing with Jan. The pair enjoyed a long, successful partnership, including winning the Jersey Fresh CCI*** and representing the U.S. at the World Championships in 2006 and other international competitions.
The Carolina Horse Park Foundation, the USEA, and the USEF extends their heartfelt sympathies to all of 'Jedi's' connections and friends on the loss of this great horse.
Thanks to Joanie Morris of USEF for that announcement.
Jan Byyny's statement on the death of her horse:
"I have been lucky enough to ride 'Jedi' for the last eight years and could not have asked for a better partner, friend, and companion. He had many moms and many Jedi moments, but has been a fantastic horse. I will miss him tremendously. Thank you to the Southern Pines crew for taking such great care of us."
Jan and Task Force were alternates for the 2004 US Team at the Athens Olympics and were the highest placed Americans at the 2005 World Cup in Sweden. They were in second place in the Open Intermediate-B division after yesterday's dressage.