A recent University of Connecticut graduate was killed Monday during a horseback riding accident when the animal threw her off and fell on top of her, state police reported.
The former captain of the UConn equestrian team, 23-year-old Samantha Calzone of Greenwich, Connecticut was an experienced rider and animal science major.
The police responded to a horsing accident at an upstate family farm on Byrds Hill Road around 10:45 a.m. after the horse bucked Calzone off and then fell on top her, according to a New York state police report. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police added that the horse reared for an unknown reason.
Calzone was a “beloved captain, teammate, and friend” to many, a Facebook post from the UConn Equestrian Team read, expressing the tragic news.
“She served as a mentor and a true ray of sunshine to UCET and all people who were lucky enough to know her. Sam was a true horsewoman and loved our sport, and these animals, with her whole heart.”
“Rest In Peace, Sam. We love you,” added the post.
According to Calzone’s profile posted on the Naturally@UConn page, she finished her masters in equine science at Hartpury University in England in July. She also participated in multiple science-enriching experiences at school, including an internship in Kentucky working with an equine therapist.
Calzone called the UConn Equestrian Team her “family and my home for all four years of my college career,” adding that the opportunity to continue her “passion in college was such a privilege.”
UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz shared with the New York Post that Calzone “made a strong and lasting impact through her leadership as captain of the UConn Equestrian Team.”
“It is devastating to lose such a promising and dynamic young woman,” Reitz said. “The entire UConn community extends its deepest condolences to her family and friends.”
A “celebration of life” will be held for Calzone this weekend, according to the UConn Equestrian Team’s page. Donations can be made to the horse charity, EQUUS Foundation, and a memorial award is set to be created in her honor.