The showjumping world is in shock following the death of a successful Lithuanian rider in a schooling accident.

Rimas Rimkus, 57, died yesterday (4 October) as the result of a fall while riding a nine-year-old Trakehner at Nemunas stud farm in the Vilnius district of Lithuania.

Emergency services attended, but Rimas died before he could be taken to hospital.

The exact cause of death has not been confirmed.

The Lithuanian equestrian federation said the showjumper had dedicated his life to horses.

Most recently he had been focusing on training younger riders.

“The Lithuanian equestrian community lost Rimas Rimkus on 4 October,” said a spokesman from the Lithuanian equestrian federation.

“He died a famous rider, a multiple champion of Lithuania and national and international competition winner.

“This disaster is a big tragedy for both Rimas’ relatives and the entire equestrian community.

“The Lithuanian equestrian federation expresses its sincere condolences to Mr Rimkus’ relatives, friends and the equestrian community members who had the opportunity to know this long-time athlete.”

Rimas’ funeral will take place on Friday (7 October).

Second rider fatality in four days

Rimas is the second rider to lose their life in a fall this month.

Argentinean eventer Santiago Zone was involved in a fatal cross-country accident at a national event last Saturday (1 October).

The 34-year-old was competing at Campo de Mayo horse trials in Buenos Aires when the fall took place.

Santiago, a married father-of-two, was a first lieutenant in the Argentine Army.

He had been competing at one-star level this year, riding two horses owned by the Argentine Army, Remonta Nunhil and Perdigon.