Salem teacher, 32, dies after fall at Vermont equestrian competition

Jennifer "Jeffie" Chapin taught fourth-grade math at Bentley Charter School, according to Salem Public Schools.

A 32-year-old teacher at a Salem charter school died Sunday after she fell during an equestrian competition in Vermont.

Jennifer “Jeffie” Chapin, a fourth-grade math teacher from Wenham, was competing at the Green Mountain Horse Association’s Festival of Eventing in South Woodstock at the time of the incident, according to the United States Eventing Association.

Chapin and her horse, Joinem, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, suffered “a rotational fall in the cross-country warm-up,” the association said in a statement.

Chapin was brought to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries, officials said. Joinem was uninjured.

“The USEA sends its sincerest condolences to Chapin’s family, friends, and connections,” the statement says.


In a letter posted to the Salem Public Schools website, interim Superintendent Kathleen Smith wrote that Chapin taught at Bentley Charter School and worked in the district the past two years.

“Jeffie’s colleagues described her as a dedicated teacher who went above and beyond to inspire her students,” Smith wrote. “She was an active member of Bentley’s Family Engagement Leadership Team and a leader on the Houses initiative. During her time with the district, Ms. Chapin had a positive, lasting impact on her colleagues and students that will not be forgotten.”

Grief counseling will be available to school staff, students, and families through the district’s crisis response team, Smith wrote.