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Five-star event rider Matthew Wright dies age 38

Five-star British event rider Matthew Wright has died at the age of 38.

His family announced the news today (15 February) “with great sadness”.

“Matthew has always been open with everyone about his own battles with mental health and has worked hard to support others through their own,” his family said in a statement.

“Please could we ask that you respect the family’s privacy and give us the opportunity to grieve at this difficult time.”

Matthew represented Great Britain at young rider and senior European championships, winning a young rider silver medal in 2002 on the homebred Park Pilot. The combination finished 13th at the 2005 senior Europeans.

Matthew first completed Burghley Horse Trials aged 19, and went on to ride at five more Burghleys, completing on five of the six occasions, and 10 times at Badminton, completing the event on six attempts, during his career. He lived with his wife Victoria and three children in Nottinghamshire.

Matthew had always been open about his struggles with mental health issues, which led to his setting up Riders Minds, an online resource dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all equestrians.

A spokesman for Riders Minds said all involved are “deeply saddened”.

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“Matthew has always been open about his own mental health battles and has worked hard to support others through their own battles through the formation of Riders Minds alongside his wife, Victoria,” she said.

“Matthew’s family and friends have respectfully asked for total privacy at this devastating time, but wish to thank everyone for their support.”

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