Rising showjumping star dies after car accident, aged 25

  • Tributes have been paid to one of the “brightest young stars” of showjumping, who has died in hospital aged 25.

    Irish rider Jack Dodd suffered serious injuries in a car accident last week and although his condition was said to be stable on Monday (4 June), he passed away yesterday (6 June).

    Tributes have poured in to the rider, who was based in Belgium.

    “It is with great sorrow and affection that the International Jumping Riders Club [IJRC] has learnt of the death of the talented young Irish rider Jack Dodd,” said a statement from the IJRC. “His family and friends are in our thoughts.

    “A recent member of the Young Riders Academy, despite his young age, Jack was already well known at international show jumping arenas around the world. With immense admiration for all that he had already achieved, the IJRC with its director Eleonora Ottaviani, also council member and co-founder of the Young Riders Academy, will treasure Jack’s memory, in the certainty that his exceptional talent would have taken him far.

    “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jack, and to all those who were fortunate enough to work alongside him within the sport.”

    Earlier this week, Jack’s family thanked well-wishers for their messages of support for the rider, who grew up in Co. Mayo but moved to Balen, Belgium last year, having previously worked with fellow Irish riders Cameron Hanley, Shane Breen, Cian O’Connor and Bertram Allen.

    He was selected for the prestigious FEI Young Riders Academy in 2016, and has represented Ireland, at junior and young rider level, at Nations Cup competitions and European championships.

    Horseware, a brand with which Jack was associated, released a statement saying he was “an absolute joy to work with”.

    “We are truly saddened to hear of the untimely death of Irish showjumper Jack Dodd,” it read. “He always had a smile on his face that would brighten up any room, rest in peace dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jack’s family and friends.”

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