All Aboard Collapses, Dies at River Glen Horse Trials [Updated]

AJ Dyer and All Aboard. Photo by Terry Dyer.

We are heartbroken to report that All Aboard, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding known as “Ranger” owned and ridden by AJ Dyer, collapsed and died this morning on the Intermediate cross country course at River Glen Horse Trials in New Market, Tennessee. AJ was uninjured.

AJ shared the following statement:

“Ranger felt super today as we started the Intermediate cross country at River Glen. He was jumping well up through fence 18, when he suddenly felt uncoordinated on approach to #19. I circled, trying desperately to pull him up and I yelled for help. I dismounted as quickly as I could, and then he collapsed. His death appears to be acute cardiac or pulmonary failure. The University of Tennessee will be performing a necropsy.

“Thank you to the organizers at River Glen, to Tracy, and Wayne Quarles for helping me. Thanks to everyone back in the barns for your support and hugs, down to helping strip my horse’s empty stall. Thanks to all my friends for the texts, phone calls, and messages.

“Heaven was sent an amazing horse today, who still had so much left to accomplish. I’m so grateful for the blessed time I had with Ranger. Please hug your horse today, you never know when it could be the last. I will never again feel upset at finishing cross country with a runout, or falling off, or missing a top placing. Never again will I take for granted walking home beside my horse, able to pat his neck or kiss his nose. Ranger, I’ll miss you more than you’ll ever know.”

Bred in Kentucky, All Aboard (Silver TrainMelina’s Fuse, by Lite the Fuse) raced seven times as a 3-year-old under the Jockey Club name San Silvestro before AJ bought him as an eventing prospect. He began his eventing career as a 4-year-old with AJ, who produced him from Novice level.

AJ and All Aboard stepped up to the two-star level in 2016, with top-10 placings at Chattahoochee Hills, Loch Moy and Richland, where they won the CCI2*. They also completed the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club CCI2* last fall.

The USEA confirmed that All Aboard will undergo a necropsy, and samples will be analyzed as part of the ongoing USEA Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research Study.

It has been a somber weekend for eventing in North America, as we also said goodbye to Kelly Morgan’s Jaeda yesterday at Bromont. The EN team extends our deepest condolences to AJ and all who knew and loved Ranger, and our thoughts continue to be with Jaeda’s connections during this very sad time.

This article has been updated with a statement from AJ.