We are heartbroken to report that Fernhill Fearless was euthanized after an accident in his stable late Sunday evening. The 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding had returned from Virginia Horse Trials earlier in the day, where he was contesting the CIC2* with young professional Gabby Dickerson (they withdrew from cross country on account of a foot bruise.) That night he broke his hind leg kicking through the bars of his stall window and was laid to rest shortly thereafter.
“Sparky” deeply touched the lives of several riders. After being campaigned through the three-star level in England with Hayden Hankey, he was imported by the Lignon family to accompany U.S.-based Thailand rider Nina Lignon to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The Ligon family gave him to Kim Severson following the Games, where he served as a team horse for her at the 2014 WEG in Normandy. Last September, Kim paid it forward by bequeathing him to Gabby to show her the ropes of upper level eventing.
Gabby announced Sparky’s passing on her Facebook page this afternoon:
“I am not one to put my thoughts and emotions on social media but Sparky is so well loved and followed by many that it is only fair to let everyone know what happened. My heart goes out to everyone who has loved and cherished this special little horse throughout his life and career. I know that he inspired and encouraged Nina to achieve her dream of riding in the Olympics, as well as being an amazing four-star partner for Kim at a time when she really needed one.
“Although I only had Sparky for a short while, I learned so much from him and loved and respected very bit of who he was, every day. He was a true Fearless champion, who was sweet and kind while being a tough little fighter through and through. Thank you so much to the chain of people who had given me the opportunity to love and learn from Sparky. The biggest thank you, though, goes to Sparky. Thank you so much for giving your all for me and everyone else who asked anything of you, Sparks. I love you buddy and will miss you every day.”
Our condolences to all of this special horse’s connections. Rest in peace, Sparky.