Champion carriage driver killed in crane accident

  • A former para-equestrian driving world champion has died following an accident at work.

    The FEI said Jan Ranzijn, 68, was a regular and “hugely respected” member of the Dutch para driving team.

    Mr Ranzijn died earlier this month after being injured during his work as a crane operator.

    He was world champion in the Grade I horse pairs on home ground at Hellendoorm in the Netherlands in 2006. Last year he took team gold and individual bronze at the world championships in Breda, Holland, with his home-bred Friesian gelding, Nico van de Haffriehoeve (pictured).

    Speaking after his double medal success in 2012, Mr Ranzijn said: “Being 67 years old, I realise how fortunate I am that I can experience this.

    “I enjoyed the competition very much and I enjoy driving every day. Nico is getting stronger, so I hope to be part of this wonderful team again in 2 years.”

    The FEI said Mr Ranzijn had already started his preparations for next year’s world para driving championships, which will be held in the UK.

    FEI director of driving, vaulting and reining, Bettina De Rham said: “Jan was a highly respected athlete, competing both in para-equestrian and able-bodied driving events.

    “He was a true team player and his enthusiasm and commitment will be sorely missed in the driving world.”

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