Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tragedy in Kentucky

The Rolex 3-Day eventing competition is going on right now in Rolex, Kentucky. This is the biggest and most prestigious horse show for 3-day eventers in North America and is a major international competition as well. Three-day eventing is one of the most demanding horse-related disciplines, physically and mentally. It involves dressage, cross-country jumping and stadium jumping events over the course of 3 days.

I read today about a tragedy that occurred yesterday on the event course. A horse by the name of "Frodo Baggins" was euthanized after sustaining a skull fracture and a "major lung injury" when he flipped over a jump on the cross-country course. Frodo's rider, Laine Ashker, was hospitalized, but consious and able to move all of her extremities. Frodo and Laine were ranked third in the nation in the eventing world, and were on the short-list for representing the US at the Olympics later this year.

A strange twist to this story that I found out is that Frodo, a 12-year old Thoroughbred from New Zealand, was actually a star of the "Lord of the Rings" movies. He was one of the horses ridden by the Nazgul. I was unable to locate specific information about which horse he was or corroborate that claim, but it is certainly of some interest. Definitely a tragedy for everyone involved. Sources:, Laine Ashker Eventing, Crow's Ear Farm, Rolex official site (scroll down to press releases).

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