US-based Irish showjumper Damian Gardiner has succumbed to cancer at the age of 43.
Gardiner, who died on September 10, revealed he had cancer in June this year, but vowed to carry on riding and competing for as long as he could.
Gardner had “extensive but futile radiation treatment”, and turned down chemotherapy “so he can enjoy the coming months in the company of his friends and family” at his San Diego, California home.
The cancer was found earlier in the year when he had a fall from a horse in February and was trapped underneath. He hurt his ribs in the fall and had problems eating. When he went to a doctor two months later, cancer of the oesophagus was found, and it had spread to his stomach and liver.
- Gardiner, originally from County Mayo, lived on the west coast of the US for nearly 20 years, after intending to stay in California for six months. He won 175 Grand Prix events around the world.
He rode in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside Eddie Macken, Peter Charles and Jessica Kürten (née Chesney). The Irish team finished eighth.
Gardiner is survived by his mother, Bernie, and partner, Jenny Carbonari, and two teenage children, Ciara and Damien. He was a brother of the late Conor, and is also survived by his twin brother Trevor, sisters Gennifer and Kyra, and brothers John, Ciaran, and Peadar.
Gardiner’s remains were to arrive at 7pm on Monday night at St Tiernan’s Church, Crossmolina, in County Mayo, with a Requiem Mass on Tuesday at 12 noon. He is to be buried in Crossmolina Cemetery.