Walterstown Don Collapses, Dies Between Fences at Twin Rivers

Bec Braitling and Walterstown Don. Photo by Shelby Allen.

We are deeply saddened to report the loss of Lauren Burnell’s Walterstown Don, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse, who died at Twin Rivers in Paso Robles, California today when he collapsed between fences 18 and 19 on the CIC3* cross country course. The cause of his collapse is not known pending a necropsy exam. His rider, Bec Braitling, was transferred to Sierra Vista Regional Medical for care.

Walterstown Don (Don Juan de la Bouverie x Walterstown Treacy VII, by Vivadari) has had a long, storied career. Born in Ireland, he was produced through the CIC2* level by Diarmuid O’Brien. Clayton Fredericks later campaigned him extensively in Europe, winning the 2010 Malmö CCI2* and the 2012 Burnham Market CIC3*, and piloted him to the horse’s first CCI4* appearance at Burghley.

After being imported to America, Walterstown Don was competed by Michael Pollard and later his owner, Lauren. Together in 2016, Walterstown Don and Lauren were 12th at the Rebecca Farm CCI1*, fourth at the Galway Downs CCI2*, and winners at the Woodside CIC2*.

Walterstown Don partnered with California-based Australian Bec Braitling in 2017. They went on to compete in six FEI events at the two-star and three-star level, never finishing outside the top 10 and earning three top-five placings at the three-star level.

The EN teams sends sincere condolences to Lauren, Bec, and everyone who knew and loved Walterstown Don. He will be deeply missed on the West Coast and beyond.

[USEA Statement]