Eventing Rider Dies After Fall at Morven Park

Loudoun’s equestrian community is mourning the loss of one its veteran riders. 

            Nicolle Villers-Amatt, 40, died Tuesday following a fall while cross-country schooling at Morven Park. She fell while jumping a log fence at the Preliminary level. 

            “The staff and Trustees of Morven Park are devastated to hear of the accident that occurred on course today,” Sheryl Williams, Morven Park’s Executive Director, wrote in a statement about the accident. “We join everyone in the equestrian community in sending our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the rider involved.”

            Villers-Amatt, of Hamilton, has been eventing since the 1990s. She competed through the Advanced level and rode the famed eventer Theodore O’Connor at the beginning of his career. While still competing, she also operated Five Point Performance Horses, a business developing young event horses and fox hunters. 

            In a statement posted on Facebook, her husband Neil Amatt wrote, “Nicolle died doing what she loved. It was quick and painless, and she was not alone—I thank Katie MacSwain for being with her. She was the best mother and wife any man could ask for.”

            A GoFundMe campaign launched to support Neil and their 2-year-old daughter, Zara, had raised more than $30,000 by Friday. 

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