Laine Ashker is Injured Two Horses Euthanised after Falls at Rolex Kentucky

April 28, 2008

Two riders and horses fell during the cross-country phase of the Rolex Kentucky over the weekend. Rider Laine Ashker is in critical condition and horses Frodo Baggins and The Quiet Man had to be euthanised.

Tragedy struck the equestrian world on Saturday when two riders and horses fell in the cross-country phase of the three day Rolex Kentucky Equestrian event. The Rolex Kentucky is the highest level three-day event in horsing in the Americas. On Saturday, Laine Ashker was riding Frodo Baggins in the cross-country when they fell at fence number five. They failed to clear the fence resulting in the horse flipping over and crashing on top of Ms. Ashker.

Laine Ashker was taken to the University of Kentucky hospital where she is in critical condition in ICU. She suffered multiple injuries including a broken collarbone, broken jaw, multiple fractured ribs and punctured lungs. She is able to move her extremities and is expected to recover.

Frodo Baggins was immediately attended by a team of veterinarians and transported to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. It was determined that he had suffered a fracture at the base of his skull and a severe lung injury. The decision was made that he would have be be euthanised. He was a New Zealand Thoroughbred who had been bought by Laine Ashker about six years ago. He is best known for his performance as the leading Dark Rider horse in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies.

Rider Sarah Hansel and her horse The Quiet Man also fell in the cross-county on Saturday. After attempting to save the horse overnight, it was determined that he was suffering too badly from his injuries and the decision was made to euthanise him on Sunday.

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13 Responses to “Laine Ashker is Injured Two Horses Euthanised after Falls at Rolex Kentucky”

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  1. 1
    Susan Says:

    Is it really worth the extreme competition when you end up in the hospital in critical condition and your horse is put to sleep???? Did that poor horse choose to die for your sport??? Is it fair???

  2. 2
    hazel Says:

    I agree Susan. The poor horse didn’t have a choice. He was a beautiful horse – not that that makes any difference, but he really was beautiful.

  3. 3
    Brit Says:

    These horses are not forced to jump. A horse cannot make it to that level unless they really love what they are doing. Horses are fragile creatures and they can get hurt anywhere, even just turned out in a pasture or on a trail ride. People are hurt and killed every day. Thousands of people die every year in car accidents, smoking, obesity-related problems, yet people still drive cars, smoke, and don’t lose weight. At least these horses and riders are doing something they love, because they chose to do it. You may think that the horses don’t have a choice, but they do. A horse that does not want to jump, wont, and there’s no forcing it. Its very easy for people to sit in the sidelines or in their living rooms and critique others. Accidents happen, its sad yes, but everybody dies at some point, and frankly I would rather die young and happy than old and safe, never having really lived.

  4. 4
    Suzie Says:

    This horse loved his job! They don’t get to this level of competition with out love for the sport. Horses in eventing are the most papmered and cared for horses around! My thoughts go out to all that knew Lainey and Frodo! Our sport lost a great horse last weekend.

  5. 5
    hazel Says:

    Brit and Suzie, I don’t do eventing but I enjoy watching it. I certainly know how well the horses are cared for and loved. They live wonderful lives. I just felt so sorry for Frodo.

    I read today that Laine hasn’t been told yet that Frodo had to be euthanized. That has to be just awful for her family.

  6. 6
    TheCloudPainter Says:

    You know, my parents used to have racehorses (Thoroughbreds) on the track when I was growing up. First, one of our horses was claimed in a race, then one of my favorites, was hurt & put down right on the track. I think I was at the tender age of 10 yrs old when I walked out, crying, and said I wanted MY OWN horses, that nobody could ever hurt or take away.
    It’s a cold hard fact, that race horses, while beautiful, fiercely loyal and courageous, are just a financial commodity at this level. To get the FULL insurance payoff for an injured horse, the horse has to be destroyed right there on the track. Forget the fact that some could be rehabbed and would be wonderful broodmares, etc… It’s the cold, hard black and white bottom line that matters – the money. That’s what it’s all about.
    Up until today, I had never watched another horserace. I grieved with the world as Barbaro was finally laid to rest.
    My fiance’ talked me into watching the Kentucky Derby today, #134.
    On the Parade to Post, my favs were Eight Belles, the only filly racing, and Pyro.
    Holding my breath from the beginning, I had just muttered, “I didn’t care who wins, as long as they are safe.” Then, a field of 20 horses broke from the gates. Watching Eight Belles fight so ferociously to get in the lead, I knew something was wrong right away – she just pulled up short and disappeared from camera view. The announcer then came on and said they have the vet vans en route to the injured horse right then. A few minutes later, he came back on and said that due to breaking both front ankles, they had had to euthanize Eight Belles right there on the track.
    My heart broke, and balling, I ran out of the living room.
    I HATE to see these beautiful, gallant courageous creatures give us their all – their heart & soul, their very lives… for what – the money? The prestige? If I could ban anything in this world, it would be horse racing and any other activity that reduces horses to commodities.

    Now, in this sad case with Laine and Frodo Baggins, it’s a little different in my eyes. She actually owned him and I’m sure, loved him dearly. I know the loss she’ll feel, as I have lost several of my own horses in my adult life.
    This accident was NOT the result of running a horse with bad feet or not letting an old injury heal and pushing forth anyways. This was a freak accident and my heart goes out to Laine. The same also applies to Sarah Hansen and her horse, The Quiet Man, who also was euthanized due to his injuries.

    Horses give us many things, without question, and they are fiercely loyal, courgeous and entrust us with their very lives.
    I think when OUR poor judgments cost these magnificent creatures their lives, we need to re-evaluate the difficulty of the courses we’re building or the speed indexes we hope to accomplish.

    Is it really worth the loss of life to either horse or human to win?
    I personally don’t think it’s worth it.

    Eight Belles, Frodo Baggins and The Quiet Man… you all gave your very best to us, and may your memories live long and fierce inside those who knew you best.
    You all will never be forgotten.


  7. 7
    Helen Says:

    Hey, Laine. You and your mom hang in there! Tea Lights and I love you guys! Helen and Tea

  8. 8
    Amy Says:

    I think it’s amazing. If you truly love the sport, it’s worth it. These things happen. The same things could happen anytime. I was watching the Rolex again today, and they are planning to take further safety measures. And the same thing could happen in a trailer accident, or on a trail ride.

  9. 9
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