FAIRFIELD — Police said a medical condition led to the death of a horse on a private beach Sunday.

“Boston,” a 17-year-old horse belonging to a Norwalk resident, was wading in shallow water near 1235 Fairfield Beach Road when it had an unknown medical issue and collapsed in the water.

Officials said the owner tried to keep the horse’s head out of the water, but by the time first responders arrived, the horse had died.

The owner’s name is being withheld until the Animal Control Officers report has been completed.

Depart of Public Works employees used a bucket loader to load the horse into the owner’s trailer. Police said there is no indication of animal abuse, and it would the owner’s decision whether to have a necropsy performed.

Police said this is the first incident of a horse dying on the beach of which they are aware. Horses are allowed on town beaches from Oct. 1 to March 31.

Because the rider was below the high water line they were allowed to ride on the private beach.