Organisers at the Tattersalls World Cup qualifier were praised yesterday for the fast and professional way in which they dealt with the fatal accident of Albert Giugni’s ride, Catherston Defender.

The 13-year-old gelding broke a foreleg on landing in the second part of the final water complex, and had to be put down in the water in front of a large crowd.

The bay son of Dutch Gold had been with Wiltshire-based Italian rider Alberto Giugni since the start of his career. He did not suffer long, but his sad death marred what had been, until then, a successful cross-country day.

H&H hunting and racing editor Catherine Austen was at Tattersalls, reporting on the event.

The organisers dealt with it swiftly, promptly and in absolutely the best way,” she said. “And the Irish crowd should be commended, too, for the way in which they dealt with it — without hysteria and upset.”

One H&H forum user, who was at the scene when Catherston Defender fell, added: “All I can say is the ground team and vets/horse ambulance were fantastic, and it was dealt with very smoothly and efficiently.”

The split-level water had already caused the fall of Badminton winner Oliver Townend from his ride Golden Hue, and afterwards, the remaining riders demanded it was withdrawn from the course.

For a full report from Tattersalls, don’t forget to buy H&H this Thursday (4 June).