American Paralympic rider Jonathan Wentz has died

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American Paralympic dressage rider Jonathan Wentz has died, aged 21.

Jonathan competed in his first Paralympics at Greenwich this summer with NTEC Richter Scale. He finished in fourth place in the Grade 1b individual, which was won by Joann Formosa.

Jonathan, who was born with cerebral palsy, was the highest-placed American rider at the Games.

A statement from his parents, Tina and James, read: “It is with a heavy and numb heart that we notify everyone of the tremendous loss of our precious son Jonathan.

“He was taken suddenly from us and has left a hole in our lives that will never be filled. He loved life and lived it each day giving his all toward his riding, school, family and friends.

“He lived to ride horses and enjoyed it immensely, pushing to be his best and pushing to improve para dressage.

“He loved getting to fulfill his dream of representing the USA at the Paralympics. He soaked in every minute in London enjoying getting to meet new friends, hang with his team, see new sights and compete against the best in the world.

“He was extremely grateful for the opportunity and determined to bring home a medal next time out. We do not understand why his life on this earth was so short, but we celebrate every day we were given to love, laugh, and enjoy our amazing son, and we rejoice in the knowledge that he is with his Lord riding and running like never before. Thank you to everyone who shared a part of his life, it was an amazing ride.”

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk