A 48 year-old Belgian rider was killed in a rotational fall at the Zutendaal unaffiliated one-day event on Sunday.

Dirk Grouwels, who was described as “an experienced amateur”, was taking part in the cross-country phase of the 1m class when the accident happened at 11.30am.

“Mr Grouwels’ horse refused at a simple fence — the first part of a combination — the rider insisted and the horse somersaulted over the fence,” said Tony McPherson, International Equestrian Federation (FEI) safety officer for Belgium.

A doctor was standing by the fence and was at the scene immediately, but said Mr Grouwels was killed instantly.

The Zutendaal event is a well respected fixture on the Belgian eventing calendar and, though organised independently by the Belgian equivalent of the UK’s Rural Riders, it runs to affiliated rules.