15-year-old horseback rider killed in tragic accident during competition, officials say
VENICE, Fla. (Gray News) – A 15-year-old girl died in a tragic accident during a horse riding competition in Florida on Sunday, officials said.
According the to United States Equestrian Federation, Hannah Serfass was competing in a jumping event at Fox Lea Farms in Venice.
USEF said Serfass was riding a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding named Quaxx 2. Holsteiner is a breed of horse.
Sarasota County deputies told WWSB that Serfass was about halfway through the course when the horse stumbled after completing the sixth jump. This caused Serfass to topple forward and fall off the horse.
Deputies said the horse continued to fall and ended up landing on Serfass’ head on the ground.
USEF explained that Quaxx 2 tripped and suffered a “rotational fall” that was “unrelated to a jumping effort.”
Fox Lea Farms personnel and others immediately began first aid on Serfass until first responders arrived.
Serfass was rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
The horse was not injured, USEF said.
Fox Lea Farms issued a statement on Facebook, writing, “Out of respect to the family, no information will be shared at this time. We send our sincere condolences to the family, trainer, friends, & the whole equestrian community. We are all heartbroken.”
USEF said the organization takes every accident very seriously and will be reviewing the fall thoroughly “to learn what we can do to minimize risk and increase safety in equestrian sport.”
USEF remembered Serfass as a very talented up-and-coming young rider, known for her passion for horses, her natural ability and her work ethic.
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