The Morven Park Fall Horse Trials organizing committee and the board of trustees of the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation announced today, Oct. 3, the death of Sparrow’s Nio, a 17-year-old Connemara-Thoroughbred gelding, owned and ridden by Alexandra Sacksen.
Sparrow’s Nio (Grange Finn Sparrow—JB) collapsed while competing in the advanced division at the Morven Park Fall Horse Trials (Virginia), between fences 19 and 20 of the cross-country phase. The cause of death is unknown at this time, pending necropsy.
Sacksen was attended to onsite and sustained no apparent injuries.
“Nio” was Sacksen’s Pony Club mount. They started at novice, and she brought him up to the five-star level, competing at the Kentucky Three-Day Event three times, most recently in 2019. They placed second at the Morven Park CCI4*-S last fall.
Sacksen’s husband, Sam Sacksen, confirmed the news on Facebook.