On Sunday, 15-year-old Hannah Serfass of Webster, Florida, suffered a tragic end to her promising career in the equestrian world when she died during a riding competition at Fox Lea Farm in Venice, Florida.
Hannah was participating in a jumper event and was attempting to clear the sixth challenge when tragedy struck while she was on horseback. Quaxx 2, is a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding. It began when Quaxx made a sudden and unexpected turn downward, throwing the young rider to the ground. The horse followed, subsequently falling and landing on Hannah’s head.
Personnel from Fox Lea Farm rushed to Serfass’ aid, with law enforcement arriving shortly afterward. Sadly, the attempt to save her life failed, and the young girl died of her injuries.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation called the incident “unrelated to a jumping effort” and stated its condolences to the family and the entire equestrian community. Fox Lea Farm also expressed sorrow for what had occurred and the loss of this beloved and determined young athlete.
Serfass’ death is a reminder of the inherent risks in any sport participated in on horseback and of the measures that must be taken to try to avoid a situation such as this from occurring again. Steps are being taken to analyze the accident and determine how the tragedy might have been avoided. The equestrian community holds strong memories of Hannah Serfass, who will never be forgotten.