The family of teenager Caitlyn Fischer, who died in an eventing accident at Sydney International Horse Trials, has paid tribute to a “gifted and determined young woman”.
Caitlyn, 19, suffered a fatal accident at the second fence of the CCI* course on Saturday (30 April).
She was riding her own 12-year-old gelding, Ralphie, who was not seriously injured.
“Our daughter and sister Caitlyn was a gifted, spirited and quietly determined young woman,” read the statement from Ailsa Carr, Mark Fischer and Kristofer Fischer.
“Always striving to do her best, Caitlyn was an exemplary school student and disciplined horse rider.
“Caitlyn’s horses loved her and she loved them in return.”
The family added that for Caitlyn, it was never about the “ribbons or accolades”, her aim was always to improve on her last performance.
“The main boy in her life was her best friend Ralphie and as a family we were so proud of the dedication that Caitlyn showed her horses,” they said.
“Even during her final year of school Caitlyn would wake at 4.30 every morning to make sure ‘Ralph’ was exercised and fed.
“We are pleased that Ralphie did not sustain any serious injuries and will be able to return home soon.
“Our hearts are aching for our daughter and we have been overwhelmed by the support extended to us from members of our extended family, the horse riding and school communities.”
Caitlyn will be cremated at a private ceremony with a service celebrating her life to be held in Bairnsdale.
Equestrian Australia has announced today (Wedneday, 4 May) that riders entered in the cancelled two- and three-star classes can compete this weekend and a minute’s silence will take place to remember Caitlyn.
“Following the tragic death of Caitlyn Fischer and after careful consideration and consultation with riders, officials and volunteers, the Sydney International Horse Trials organising committee has decided to offer riders who had entered the three and two star events the opportunity to restart this weekend,” read a statement from the organisation.
“The event will be open to the public and spectators are invited to attend to pay their respects to Caitlyn, who will be remembered during a minute’s silence following the conclusion of the showjumping on Sunday (8 May).”