The 15th Asian Games have been hit by tragedy with the death of a South Korean event rider.

Kim Hyung Chil, 47, died after his horse Bundaberg Black fell on top of him while negotiating fence eight on the cross-country course in Doha. Hyung Chil was attended to by medics at the scene and taken to Hamad General Hospital but he never regained consciousness.

Father-of-two Hyung Chil was the oldest member of the South Korean equestrian team. He had represented South Korea at four Asian Games and was a member of the silver-medal winning team in Busan 2002.

“On behalf of the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee, I send my deepest sympathies on the sad loss of Kim Hyung Chil,” said Ahmed Abdulla Al Khulaifi, DAGOC’s Deputy Director General of Corporate Support during an official press conference.

“The competition has lost a noble and an able rider. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family of the deceased, the whole South Korean team participating in Doha 2006 and the people of the nation.”

The competition resumed after a two-and-a-half hour break, following approval by the technical delegate, who inspected the course and the fence following the tragic accident. Bundaberg Black is currently under observation but is showing no obvious signs of injury. Organisers have confirmed that an official investigation will take place into the incident.

The South Korean team had made a winning start to the Asian Games by taking both the individual and team gold medals in the dressage competition.