Thirty-one year old international show jumper Andres Rodriguez passed away at a Florida hospital after an early morning car accident that left another equestrian dead.
Rodriguez, 31, was at the wheel with Sophie Walker, 30, as his passenger when he lost control of his car and crashed into a concrete pillar at approximately 3:30am inside the gated Palm Beach Polo & Country Club in Wellington, FL. Exact circumstances of the accident are still unclear, but Walker died instantly, and Rodriguez was taken to Del Ray Medical Center in critical condition, where he passed away a few hours later. Rodriguez was said to have been giving Walker a ride home after a private birthday celebration at a home nearby.
Walker, an accomplished amateur rider, was married to professional Brian Walker. The couple operated their Woodside Farm, Inc. from Lexington, KY and Wellington, FL.
Rodriguez, of Venezuela, earned the Individual Silver medal at the Pan American Games last July in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. The highly accomplished grand prix rider picked up FEI victories around the world in 2015, with wins at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival, Spruce Meadows, Lexington, and a successful European summer tour. A newlywed, he was married in December 2015 to fellow rider Clementine Goutal.
Our very deepest condolences go to the families of both of these talented, loved and respected riders.