Katharine Morel, an equestrian rider from Alberta, Canada, died along with her horse after a horrific fall during a competition on Saturday. She was 33-years old. Morel and her horse, Kerry On, were killed when the horse had a "rotational fall" which occurs when a horse somersaults onto its back during a jump with the rider per the CBC. The accident occurred at the Rocking Horse Winter III Horse Trials in Altoona, Florida.
"Today, the equestrian industry lost not just an exceptional athlete, but an exceptional person, as well as the horse she loved," EC High Performance Director, James Hood said in a statement per the Equestrian Canada website. "On behalf of EC, I extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Katharine, as well as to the entire team who surrounded Kerry On."
Kerry On suffered serious injuries and died shortly after the fall. Morel was transported to Waterman Hospital in Tavares where she later died.
"Rotational falls are generally the most dangerous falls we see in equestrian sport," Hood added. "And they often have very serious injuries that result from them."
Morel started riding with Kerry One five years ago and they were making noise on the international stage.
"Katharine was just entering onto our radar of international events," Hood said. Morel wasn't on the national team but Hood said she was a "target athlete" moving toward that goal.
"She was a great developing athlete and a great person."
Back in 2018, The Sherwood Park News interviewed Morel and she talked about how she met Kerry On.
"I had a horse who I kind of maxed out with and I needed a new prospect," Morel said. "I came upon a three-year-old thoroughbred mare named Kerry On."
"She was a horse who wasn't racing well — in fact, in her last race before I bought her, she walked out of the starting gate," Morel continued. "She just wasn't a runner. I looked at her, and you just kind of get to see them in the stall, not even ride them, but I just liked her instantly. I had no idea if she would even want to jump anything. But I took a chance on her. It took her a few years of training to get her feet and she has turned out to be phenomenal."
Equestrian Canada announced it will work with US Equestrian to investigate the fall.