Two young riders have died in a car crash in Florida.

Dana McWilliams, 19, and Christian Kennedy, 21, died in the accident in Wellington on 25 November.

Elaine Halloran, 24, who was also in the car, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Tributes have poured in for the pair.

Christian, from Iowa, had recently taken part in the “Future Stars” training programme with US dressge coach Robert Dover and was working for US-based Israeli dressage rider Oded Shimoni.

“OS Dressage, the Wellington community, and the entire horse world suffered another major blow and loss of young life last night in a tragic car crash in Wellington,” said a tribute from Oded on his Facebook page.

“We are all devastated to have lost incredible human beings and young talents.

“Christian was a breath of fresh air, an eternal optimist, a true horse person who really loved horses, a hero to many, and a fabulous rider.

“May this be yet another strong half-halt to everyone. Life is precious and must be treated as such.”

Fundraising pages to help the families of both Dana and Christian with funeral expenses have been set up.

A tribute from Christian’s friends on his memorial page remembered him as “hardworking, caring and kind”.

“Christian always had a lovely warm smile and easy manner,” read the tribute.

“All who knew him loved him and we are all trying hard to accept his loss.”

Dana, who hailed from Connecticut, had recently moved to Florida to work for showjumper Maarten Huygens.

Dana’s brother, David McWilliams, paid tribute to his sister on her fundraising memorial page.

“Words cannot express the devastating heartbreak that my family and I feel in knowing that we’ve lost my beautiful, 19-year old sister, Dana McWilliams,” he said.

“She was such a beautiful person, so full of life and she was loved by so many people.

“This loss is so sudden, so tragic and feels barely comprehensible.

“We thank you all who have reached out and appreciate all the message of love and support.”

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