Ball to honour fallen event rider David Foster

January 21, 2011

An event honouring the late Irish eventing international Captain David Foster and raising funds for injured riders will be held next month in the rider's home town of Enfield in County Meath.


David Foster's widow, Denise, at last year's ball with Patrick, The Lord Carew.
Profits raised from the annual David Foster Injured Riders Fund Ball will go to the Injured Riders Fund.

Foster, 43, suffered a rotational fall on the cross-country phase of a horse trials event in Rathmolyon in late April 1998. Injured when his horse fell on him, Foster was rushed to Navan hospital but had died by the time the ambulance reached the hospital.

Foster was a linchpin of the Irish eventing squad for many years. He helped the country win team gold for the first time at the European Eventing Championships at Luhmuhlen in 1979. He had represented Ireland at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Seoul and Atlanta.

He had intended to retire after the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and concentrate on becoming a racehorse trainer. He already had about two dozen horses in work and getting ready to race.

Foster started as a 19-year-old in 1974 at the Irish Army's Equitation School in Dublin, and in 2001 was posthumously honoured there in celebration of the school's 75th anniversary.

Foster is survived by his wife, Denise, and three children, Jessica, Lucy and Nick. Denise took out her racehorse trainers' licence after David's death, and set up the David Foster Injured Riders Fund in 1999.

This year's ball, which will be held at the Marriot Johnstown House Hotel on Saturday, February 12, is the key fundraising event for the fund, and everyone in the equestrian community is encouraged to attend or make a donation.

"David Foster was an iconic figure in the sport of Three Day Eventing, and the success of this fund for injured riders is a testament to his lasting legacy," said Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh.

"This ball is run by a voluntary committee in honour of David Foster and to raise funds for injured riders. I would encourage everyone to go along to what will be great a social occasion."

Eventing Ireland's Media awards will also be presented on the night and include the following categories; Best International Performance in a Senior Competition; Best Underage performance in an FEI Championship; Lifetime achievement Award, and finally Best National Event.