Tragic accident kills endurance rider

  • The untimely death of Rod Leight, 50, who died of severe head injuries sustained in a fall from a young horse on the road, has rocked the endurance world.

    The accident happened on the B3181 near Budlake, Devon, on 6 November, while the road was being used as a diversion route following a crash on the M5.

    Rod was taking the youngster over a bridge when he was in collision with a juggernaut. He was wearing a hard hat, but it was smashed when his head hit a wheel. The horse escaped with cuts and bruises and was found later, some distance away.

    Rod, from Pinhoe, Exeter, was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but died several days later in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

    A lifelong rider, Rod enjoyed endurance success at national level, including a win at the Vine 100km ride in 2002 on his 17.2hh long-striding Thoroughbred gelding, Prince Of Barrow.

    Rod competed on Chris Yeoman’s horses during the last year, following the loss of Prince Of Barrow last autumn. The horse was put down after a leg injury from the 2003 Golden Horseshoe ride failed to heal.

  • This news article was first published in Horse & Hound (18 November ’04)

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