Brooke Posey, a 17-year-old rider, died March 16 in a multi-vehicle accident on her way to the Harrison County Fairgrounds & Equestrian Center in Gulfport, Miss. Posey was competing in the final weekend of the Gulf Coast Winter Series.
Posey was driving with 14-year-old barnmate Grayson Bell at 5:45 p.m. on Mississippi 53, only a few miles from the showgrounds, when her car collided with a Chevrolet that was stopped, trying to turn onto Carlton Cuevas Road. According to the Biloxi Sun Herald, she then collided head-on with second vehicle heading northbound on Mississippi 53.
Bell was taken by ambulance to the Gulfport Memorial Hospital. The second vehicle’s driver, who was ejected during the accident, was airlifted to the University of South Alabama Medical Center. Posey was pronounced dead at the scene. Bell wasn’t seriously injured in the crash.
Posey, Mandeville, La., had been competing in the Gulf Coast Winter Series all season in the children’s/adult jumper division under the tutelage of TJ LeBlanc and his daughter, Katherine LeBlanc, of Fox Ridge Farm in Folsom, La. In the first week of Gulfport, Posey received the reserve champion tricolor on MTM Numa One.
“Brooke loved to ride, and it never mattered what it was I put her on. No matter how tough things got, she always kept trying,” said TJ. “I remember the first horse show she braided her own horse, and by the second week when all her braids stayed in while she showed she was so excited! You would have thought she just won the lottery. It never mattered the task at hand, she always tried her best and tried until she accomplished her goal. She made my job fun.”
Posey showed numerous horses throughout her career as she rode in both the junior hunter and jumper divisions. She was planning on attending Louisiana State University in the fall.
“Brooke had a smile that was contagious and could laugh at or about anything,” said Katherine. “She truly loved the horses and would ride anything we asked her to. The horses loved her too; they always responded to her very positively. She became a member of my family and the barn family. She always wished she was younger and shorter, so she could ride a pony because she loved ponies. Her work ethic showed no bounds. I’m pretty sure she could make friends with anyone.
“We thank Brooke’s family for allowing her and them to become part of ours and being so supportive of the horses,” Katherine continued. “We have made memories that will last a lifetime. I know every time I swing my leg across a horse she’ll be right there with me.”