The Australian eventing scene is reeling after the second death of a young rider in a horse trials competition within a matter of weeks.
Victorian rider Caitlyn Fischer, 19, died as a result of injuries sustained in the one-star event at the Sydney International Horse Trials today.
The death is the second in Australia this year, after Olivia Inglis, 17, was killed in a cross-country accident in New South Wales in early March.
The accident occurred at the second fence on the course, at about 10.40am, with Fischer falling from her horse, Ralphie, a 12-year-old thoroughbred cross gelding.
Fischer received medical attention by the on-course paramedic and doctor but was unable to be revived. Ralphie is in a stable condition and is under veterinary observation.
The event, which was an Australian Olympic trial, was cancelled after the accident.
Equestrian Australia Chairwoman Judy Fasher said: “On behalf of the whole sport I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Caitlyn’s parents Ailsa Carr and Mark Fischer and her family. The thoughts and prayers of horse people all over the country are with Caitlyn’s family and friends at this sad time.”
Bairnsdale Pony Club district commissioner Janine Bromwich said Ms Fischer was a “bright, bubbly kid” who was committed to the sport.
“She was very, very committed in everything she did,” Bromwich told Fairfax Media
Fischer had been competing at CCI1* level for over a year with Ralphie, finishing seventh at Albury NSW in 2015 and Camden NSW earlier this month.
The 1* and 2* courses at the Sydney event were designed by Australian Olympian Stuart Tinney, with Mike Etherington-Smith responsible for the 3*.
FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez expressed condolences on behalf of the sport to Caitlyn Fischer’s family and her many friends.
“As a mother myself, my heart goes out to the family and friends of Caitlyn Fischer after this tragic accident,” she said.
“The safety and welfare of riders and horses is our top priority at all FEI events.”
Fischer, who was named in Eventing Victoria’s Young Rider squad in 2014, was sponsored by Southern Stars Saddlery and Wilson Equestrian.
A police investigation into the accident is under way.