‘A mentor and a guide’: tributes paid to competitor who died at show

Tributes have been paid to a member of the Arab Horse Society who died at the organisation’s national show.

Ryan Jones, 43, who lived in Shropshire, died at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, on Friday (26 July) evening.

A spokesman for the Arab Horse Society said: “Words will never be adequate to express the sorrow and pain that is being felt by the family and all his friends in the Arabian horse world.

“We send our deepest condolences to the Jones family and to his partner Sue.”

The final day of the show, on 27 July, was cancelled.

“The decision to cancel the rest of the show on Saturday was unprecedented. This was done on compassionate grounds in respect for the family and friends. The sense of loss was palpable around the show ground. A large number of competitors were not prepared to continue to show their horses out of respect for Ryan,” said the spokesman.

“In addition many of those involved in judging, stewarding and running the show indicated that they would prefer not to continue. There will have been a financial cost to all but those costs cannot be compared to the devastating loss of a son, father, partner and friend.

“We would like to thank the very large number of people who stayed behind to attend a short meeting in the tent on Saturday morning to reflect on Ryan’s life and to take time to show their love and respect to him. It is at sad times like this that the Arab horse family comes together and helps their friends.”

Society chairman Joanne Lowe told H&H: “Mr Jones was a big brother to a lot of people in the Arab horse scene. He was a mentor and guide.”

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said two ambulances and a paramedic officer attended the scene.

“On arrival we discovered a man was in cardiac arrest” he said. “Bystanders had already started CPR, which ambulance staff continued as well as administering advanced life support. However sadly it became apparent that nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”