Avid Pony Clubber Mary Angela Jaquith died on March 18 following a riding accident. She was 13.
Miss Jaquith was mounting a horse at her family’s East Venice, Fla., farm, when the typically docile animal reared, slipped and rolled over her. Despite her riding helmet, she suffered a fracture to the base of her skull and later died at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Miss Jaquith rode with the Sea Fox Pony Club and earned her D-3 rating, concentrating in show jumping and dressage. She competed in rallies throughout Florida, often acting as horse manager for the team. She loved the camaraderie fostered by Pony Club and was always ready to help the younger team members.
Nichole Sanders, USPC’s Region 7 Area Coordinator, remembered the teenager as a positive influence among her peers.
“Mary’s true gift was with the other children,” recalled Sanders. “She was a natural leader, who humbly did her job with grace and a smile. And people responded to her. She touched everyone she passed.”
One of her greatest moments was meeting David and Karen O’Connor and seeing their Olympic medals while attending the 2006 USPC Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Mo.
Miss Jaquith was home-schooled by her mother, which allowed her extra time to help in the barn. “She and her mother did everything together,” said her brother Mark. “The barn was their secret clubhouse. It was the one place they could go without the boys intruding on their girl time.”
Beyond her equestrian pursuits, Miss Jaquith was also a talented musician, singing soprano in her church choir and playing the piano. She was a voracious reader with plans to become a veterinarian. “Mary had no time for small talk,” said Mark. “There was simply too much to get done. Too many books to read. Too many horses to ride.”
Miss Jaquith’s survivors include: her parents, Dr. Michael and Debra Jaquith; five brothers, Mark, David, Stephen, John Paul and Thomas; and two sisters, Alicia Dalton and Andrea Gwaltney.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sea Fox Pony Club, 1000 S. Oxford Dr., Englewood, FL 34223.