Ceremony for Benjamin Winter recalls “cool competitor”

A ceremony marking the life of Benjamin Winter was held at Luhmühlen on Sunday.
A ceremony in memory of Benjamin Winter was held at Luhmühlen on Sunday.

A moving ceremony was held at the Luhmühlen horse trials on Sunday in honour of German eventer Benjamin Winter, who died on Saturday following a cross-country fall.

A minute’s silence was held before the showjumping phase, with riders wearing black armbands for the remainder of the competition.

Winter, 25, was lying 12th at the Luhmühlen Horse Trials in Germany on his first ride Wild Thing Z, when he suffered a rotational fall with his second ride, Ispo, at fence 20, a table fence. He was taken by helicopter to Borberg Hospital in Hamburg but was pronounced dead on arrival from his head injuries.

German coach Chris Bartle described Benjamin Winter, 25, as a great talent, the “dream of every coach”.

“We lost a superb sportsman and friend. Ben was so passionate about his horses and his sport. It was his biggest dream to compete in Luhmühlen’s four star CCI and he was overjoyed about his copy-book round on Wild Thing earlier yesterday morning,” Bartle said.

“Both Ben and his horses were fit and well prepared for this event. He was a truly cool competitor, a dream for any trainer. We will all miss him very much. Our thoughts are now with his family and close friends.”

Benjamin Winter
Benjamin Winter

Breido zu Rantzau, President of the German Equestrian Federation (FN) said: “Ben, who lived for his horses and for his sport,  had an unbelievably positive outlook on life. His always cheerful attitude will be sorely missed by all who knew him. We are all lost for words.”

It was the express wish of Winter’s family that the competition continue, but it was a sombre event without music and with all the flags at half mast.

Winning 4* rider Tim Price, who rode Wesko in his first four-star victory, dedicated his victory to Winter.

The FEI said a full investigation into the accident is taking place.

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