The Bad News Keeps Coming: Top Australian Event Horse Dies on X-C in France

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Australian eventer Clayton Fredericks competed this weekend at the Saumur*** three day event in France and will return to his training center in Britain without one of his top horses.

The stunning Nullabor went down on cross-country yesterday and, according to the few reports available, broke his neck. The fall and the death of the horse were apparently shown on the streaming live video of event on the web site.

Fredericks and his wife Lucinda are two shoo-ins to make the Australian eventing team to compete in Hong Kong at the 2008 Olympics. He won the Rolex**** event in Kentucky last year, while Lucinda won Badminton.

Bred in Ireland, Nullabor is listed as an 11-year-old TB x Irish Sport Horse. Fredericks and Nullabor were in the lead after dressage.

Lucinda retired her horse, Mr. Alligator, on cross-country at Saumur. Sam Griffiths of Australia was the winner. Mark Todd of New Zealand, who is trying to qualify for the Kiwi team for Hong Kong, also competed, and presumably is alive and well, along with his horse Gandalf.

The official message from the organizing committee: "During the cross-country test at the Saumur CCI***, the horse Nullabor, ridden by Clayton Fredericks, unfortunately died due to a fall on the flat at 3 pm. The organizing committee has extended all its sympathies to the rider and the owner."