WILDWOOD, Fla. – A 15-year-old girl killed last week during a horse-riding competition in Venice, Florida, attended Wildwood Middle High School in Sumter County and is being remembered as a talented rider.
Hannah Serfass was competing at the Fox Lea Farm Spring Concours I competition on April 30 when her horse tripped and fell on top of her, the U.S. Equestrian Federation said. Serfass was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later died.
“As a young rider myself, this story really made me tear up. I’m very thankful she died doing what she cared most about, and it sounds like a fellow Christian went to Heaven,” one person wrote on Serfass’ tribute wall.
“She was not just an exceptional equestrian, she was an exceptional young lady with a heart of gold and such a bright future ahead of her,” another wrote.
An obituary released after Serfass’ death shows she was in 10th grade at Wildwood Middle High School.
The obituary states that aside from horse riding, Serfass also had passions for tap dance, ballet, gymnastics, cross country, track and basketball.
“Her passion was riding horses, so it is a blessing that she entered heaven’s gates on one,” the obituary reads. “However, she would have ridden a cow if that’s all she had. More than horses, Hannah would love to spend time riding with her brother and enjoying the freedom to stop for ice cream before dinner.”
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One of Serfass’ fellow competitors, 17-year-old Kate Egan, of New Jersey, set up a GoFundMe following the accident.
“(Serfass) was a talented rider with an extremely bright future,” the GoFundMe reads. “She showed nothing but dedication and love to this sport.”
Funds are expected to go toward planting a tree with a plaque of Serfass’ name in her memory, with remaining funds going toward a perpetual trophy in her name or to be given to Serfass’ family toward an organization of their choice.
The GoFundMe originally sought $10,000, but it has since exceeded that goal, reaching $80,291 as of Friday morning.
Anyone interested in donating to the GoFundMe may do so by clicking here.
Meanwhile, USEF announced that it will be reviewing the accident to determine how to prevent similar accidents in the future.
According to USEF, the horse was not injured in the accident.
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