Traffic Accident Kills 3 Horses
On May 25, a traffic accident in the early morning causing the death of 3 upper level eventing horses, ridden by international rider Michael Pollard. The 3 others were injured and are now under treatment for their injuries.
Chris Stafford, Pollard’s spokeswoman, said the incident occurred at 7 a.m. on Hwy. 255 just south of Chatsworth, Ga., a few miles from the Pollard Eventing Training Center in Dalton, Ga. The horses were being transported from Georgia to Kentucky for routine veterinary checks, Stafford said. Law enforcement and fire personnel from Murray County, Ga., along with Georgia State Police responded at the scene.
R. Hernandez, the driver of the other car, didn’t yield at the intersection, as the tractor trailer was coming through. The trailer was driven by groom Natalie Hummel. Hernandez was cited for failure to yield at a roadway intersection, a Georgia policeman said. Stafford said that to her knowledge, Hummel was not ticketed in connection with the incident.
One horse, VDL Ulando H, died at the scene, while five others were cut free from the damaged trailer and survived the crash.
But from those survivors, two were later euthanized because of their injuries. These horses were Icarus, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding who had sustained a severed ligament and deep lacerations surrounding his right hind fetlock joint and Jude’s Law, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding who was then diagnosed with a ruptured cecum because of the incident, and he was then euthanized him. Pollard said the loss of the horses is devastating.
“This is a nightmare that I can’t seem to wake up from,” he said.
The remaining horses, Schoensgreen Hanni (team Gold Medalist from the 2011 Pan Am Games with Pollard), Raphael (an advanced level event horse), and Little Star (a broodmare) are receiving treatment for minor accident-related injuries and are expected to recover, Stafford said.