Top rider dies in fall at Scottish Open Horse Trials


Former junior national champion Polly Phillipps was killed in a rotational fall at the Scottish Open Horse Trials at Thirlestane Castle in Berwickshire, on August 22.

Coral Cove hit the Garden Park Fan, a sloping parallel fence and the 10th obstacle on the course. He somersaulted over the jump, and landed on his rider.

Phillipps, 30, had represented Britain in the 1997 Open European Championships at Burghley and was seventh at the 1998 World Championships.

Phillipps died of head injuries at the fence, at about 3.30pm. The rest of the competition was cancelled.

According to Britain’s Independent newspaper, Phillipps was studying for her veterinary finals when she first completed the Badminton Horse Trials in 1992. She established her own veterinary practice at Rampstone in Leicestershire, where she often travelled on her rounds by bicycle while getting fit for major events.

Phillipps had sustained serious injuries at Badminton in May, when she suffered a concussion, a broken collarbone, and injuries to her back, ribs and the optic nerve in her right eye.

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