Endurance rider dies during international event

  • Police are investigating after a rider died in an international endurance event in Chile.

    Chilean rider Hugo Valdés Barros, 58, fell from his horse MP Sifax on the second loop of a CEI2* 120km ride, held at Llay Llay on Saturday, 24 September.

    There were no witnesses but the FEI said it is thought the 10-year-old gelding “failed to make a turn on the track and jumped a small canal”.

    Organisers cancelled the day’s remaining events and a “full police investigation” has been launched.

    “We send our deepest condolences to Hugo’s wife María Pía, sons Cristián and Ignacio and daughter María Elisa, and his relatives and friends,” Associación Chilena de Enduro Ecuestre president Cristian Herrera said.

    “Hugo was an exceptional man. His passion for the sport of endurance and his love for horses will remain with us.

    “May his soul rest in peace.”

    Hugo, who lived near the Chilean capital Santiago, had been competing in endurance at national level for more than 10 years, internationally for two seasons.

    This was his second CEI2* event with homebred MP Sifax, who was unhurt in the incident.

    FEI official Elizabeth Huyghe said: “As the president of the ground jury at Llay Llay, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Hugo Valdés Barros and to the whole endurance family.”

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    FEI secretary general Sabrina Ibáñez added: “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Hugo Valdés Barros.

    “The FEI and the global equestrian family send our deep condolences and support to Chile at this very difficult time.”

    A funeral mass was held at the Church of Santa Elena in Santiago on 26 September, and a memorial service for Hugo’s fellow riders and friends will be held at the Cementerio Parque del Recuerdo on 1 October.

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