Event rider killed at Sapey Horse Trials

  • An event rider was killed on Tuesday when competing in a novice one-day competition in Sapey, Worcestershire.

    Jo-Anne Williams, 34, from Anglesey, suffered fatal injuries when falling from her horse at the eighth fence on the novice course at Sapey one-day event in Worcestershire. She was airlifted from the venue by Worcestershire Air Ambulance, but died from her injuries.

    Although details at present are sketchy, H&H understands that the incident occurred at a park bench-style fence, which would have been no more than 3ft 6” high.

    A spokesman for British Eventing (BE) told H&H she did not have any details on whether or not it was a rotational fall. Chris Shaw, BE’s regional director for Worcestershire, is spending Wednesday afternoon at Sapey in order to try and piece together what happened.

    Mrs Williams’ mount, 14-year-old gelding Shannandoah, has 28 BE points and was uninjured.

    Event riders injured

    Pony silver medallist Libby Soley and novice rider Annie Kirkham are both on the mend after suffering rotational falls at Brougham and Stafford horse trials respectively, writes Jo Prestwich.

    Libby, 15, was knocked out in an horrific fall from her novice ride Jitterbug when the horse left a leg at the second part of a double. She sustained a broken collarbone and a collapsed lung and spent four nights in hospital. She is now recovering at home in Darlington and hopes to be back in the saddle within a month.

    Annie Kirkham, meanwhile, suffered 10 fractures to her pelvis and sacrum. She parted company from her horse, Tova, when the mare put down in front of the second fence on Stafford’s pre-novice course, a plain log with flowers placed in front, and somersaulted.

    “She’s a very clever mare and she never hits anything, but she seemed to misjudge the groundline at this fence,” said Derby-based Annie, who was taken to Stafford Hospital and later moved to Derby Royal Infirmary. Annie will not return to eventing this season, but is hoping to be back in the saddle next year.

    For more on the Sapey tragedy, read next week’s issue of H&H (out 26 April)

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