The mother of Tom Gadsby — the young New Zealander who died in a rotational fall on Sunday (18 August) — has spoken of her pride at watching him compete just days earlier.
Louise Gadsby had spent a week with Tom shortly before he was killed, visiting London and Paris.
She told a local newspaper in New Zealand: “It was a special time.
“I just thank God that I went over there and we had that time together.”
Mrs Gadsby was flying home when the accident happened. She is returning to England with other family members, to collect Tom’s body.
She added: “Tom was becoming really well-known really quickly and I just felt at last he’s got the chance to be where he wants to go.
“It’s been his passion since he was a very little boy. He’d be 5 years old, out in the dark, brushing and plaiting and packing up all the gear.”
Tom, 26, died shortly after his horse hit fence 4B in the CIC* at the Cheshire event. His mount, a 7-year-old coloured gelding called The Drover, was unhurt.
Tom had been working as stable jockey to former Team GBR rider, Diana “Tiny” Clapham at her Eventers International business in Huntingdon, Cambs, since May.
A statement on the Eventers International Facebook page read: “Words cannot express how we feel after the tragic loss of Tom.
“He was without doubt a truly exceptional horseman, a thoughtful and kind person with a flamboyant personality. Tom was part of our family.
“Tom was a smart, intelligent man with a great love of horses, dogs and people.
“There is a massive void at Eventers without Tom. Thinking of you always. RIP, Tiny, Sarah, Meghan, Annabelle and James.”