When a slew of bad things happen in a short period of time, it can be tempting to try to make sense of the ensuing chaos. Bad things happen in threes. It’s all part of God’s/Mother Earth’s/The Universe’s plan. Everything happens for a reason.
In truth, tragic things happen. It doesn’t have to add up.
This morning’s news falls into that unfortunate category. Catherine Tyree’s horse, Free Style VH Polderhof, died suddenly in the International Ring at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida this morning of an apparent heart attack. Tyree was competing in the jump off of the $8,000 1.45m II.2b when the 10-year-old Belgium Warmblood mare collapsed. It was the first class, on the second day, of the 12-week winter circuit.
The 22-year-old rider was taken from the ring in an ambulance. According to Phelps Sports, she’s reported to have a leg injury.
Previously campaigned by world #10 Daniel Deusser (GER), Free Style VH Polderhof was purchased by the Tyree family in 2014. Together with Catherine, she collected five top six FEI results last year, most recently finishing fourth in a Table C 1.50m class at Washington International Horse Show in October 2015.
Here is a video of the pair in a happier time, competing in the $34,000 Saugerties Jumper Classic at HITS on the Hudson VIII in September 2015. They finished fifth out of 67 horse-and-rider combinations.
Our condolences to Team Tyree.