A Devastating Day–Loss of Christian Kennedy

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Christian Kennedy on Cadenza, owned by Ilse Schwarz, at Magnolia Farm in Wellington.

Editor’s note: Ilse Schwarz is an Australian trainer and rider based in Wellington, Florida and a frequent contributor to dressage-news.com. Christian Kennedy moved to Wellington to work with Ilse.

Nov. 26, 2017

By ILSE SCHWARZ

A devastating day today. This is a long post, please read all the way.

We have lost a wonderful young man.

Christian Kennedy was a part of my life and quickly became part of my family as a working student and before that as a student in my clinics in North Carolina. He was truly a GOOD soul, filled with life, hope and love. He was a gentleman, in the truest Midwestern way–he was from Iowa–with a crazy sense of humour. I laughed so much with him and also debated world issues with discussions way beyond his young years. He was 21.

He was also a rising talent in the saddle. He lived for the horses, riding and training. He had moved to Wellington to pursue his passion and was someone I would have put money on to make the team down the road. Robert Dover had selected him as a future talent for a month of high performance training.

That he was killed in a sensless and entirely preventable car accident makes me so unbelievably ANGRY. Yes, it is a time for grieving but it is BEYOND time to get MAD at the situation that allowed this to happen.

Every year, too many young people are lost in this town because of the attitude that enables people to party, drink, get behind the wheel and then speed away on the short drive home.

I have received so many messages today saying, “Oh, no, that happens too often in Wellington.”

Christian WASN’T driving and I can’t comment on the driver, but this was a high, very high, speed accident.

I have lost a good friend, talented student and someone who touched every person he met. The atmosphere in Wellington needs to change before the next parent gets “that” phone call. As Christian’s mother did as she was returning to Nigeria where she was involved in a health project.

If you are interested in helping me make that happen please message or text me. It is past time.

ilse@dressage-news.com