Police investigate death of Italian event rider

  • A police investigation into the death of Italian event rider Sabrina Manganaro is ongoing.

    The eventing community was in shock earlier this month after Sabrina was killed in a fall at a national event.

    She was competing in a pre-novice section of a national event in Cuceglio, Italy, on 12 April.

    “Her horse Fante Di Mezzograno fell at fence 13 at 10.50am, causing the immediate death,” said the Italian Equestrian Federation (FISE).

    The 25-year-old rider was attended to by doctors at the event, but could not be saved. The horse was uninjured. Reports suggest her death might be the result of a rotational fall.

    An FISE spokesman told H&H that said an investigation into her death was ongoing. He added that a police inquiry is “standard procedure for an accident of this type in Italy”.

    “The magistrate opens an official inquiry and all people who are deemed directly involved are put under investigation,” he said.

    The course-designer, technical delegate and event director are all under investigation.

    In Britain, similar protocol does not apply.

    “We cannot comment on what may or may not be happening in other nations nor would we because it would be inappropriate,” said British Eventing’s Mike Etherington-Smith.

    “What we can say is that the world in which course-designers work is one that is not easy.

    “The advent of rider reps several years ago was formalising the relationship between officials and riders and this relationship is very good. Riders can at any time approach officials with concerns that they may have about a fence, which is a positive development.

    “We are all in the sport because we enjoy it, we know what the risks are and have to accept them whatever our role.”

    Sabrina’s death was the second in two months, after Francisco Seabra was killed at an event in Spain in February.

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