Young British rider dies on British cross-country


A 20-year-old eventing rider has died following an accident at the Somerleyton horse trials in Suffolk.

Peter McLean, aged 20, sustained fatal crush injuries after his mount Gracious Me II fell at the fifth fence on the intermediate course at Somerleyton Horse Trials on September 26. The obstacle was a parallel rail fence. Gracious Me II stumbled on landing and fell on his rider.

McLean was originally from Lanark but lived in Lutton near Peterborough.

His death is the fifth in 1999, prompting the Guardian newspaper in Britain to describe the season as “a disastrous summer for the equestrian world with a record number of fatal accidents. Before the recent series of accidents, only about one rider a year died during horse trials”.

A British Eventing spokesperson was quoted in the newspaper as saying: “We are doing everything possible to prevent accidents and are trying to gather as much information as possible to make our sport safer.

“The number of deaths that have happened recently is most unusual.

“We don’t know what we are doing wrong and there’s nothing common in these accidents. We wish we had an explanation. Eventing is a risk sport and everybody who competes is aware of this and our committee is working as hard as it can to make it even safer.”

They added that “while the number of deaths during equestrian events this year was unusually high, last year around 160 competitions were held without any fatalities”.

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