The Australian equestrian community has been left saddened after the deaths of two of its members last weekend.
On Sunday (29 May) a 12-year-old girl died after she was trampled by the horse she was leading.
Billie Kinder was found with serious head, chest and abdominal injuries at a property in Pitt Town, Hawkesbury.
It is believed that the horse she was leading was spooked and trampled her.
She was treated by police and paramedics, but sadly died in the ambulance rescue helicopter on the way to hospital.
Equestrian New South Wales chief executive paid tribute to “one of our best young riders”.
“Billie competed at the NSW Interschools Championships in 2014 and 2015,” he said.
“In 2015, she was the Champion Primary School Showjumping Rider and Overall Primary School Champion Rider.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Billie’s family at this very sad time.”
Sydney Showjumping Club (SSJC), of which Billie was a member, also sent their condolences to her family.
“It’s with tremendous sadness that the SSJC committee advises that Billie Kinder, a much loved and admired member of Sydney Jump Club, tragically died yesterday,” said a statement on Monday (30 May).
“A rider with talent beyond her years, Billie, her sister Charlie, and her parents are very active supporters of SSJC and valued members of our show jumping community.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to Danny, David, Charlie and their family.”
The tragedy occurred a day after Australian racehorse trainer Hana Dickson, 31, died in a riding accident (28 May).
A statement from the Western Australian Racing Trainers’ Association (WARTA) said it is understood she was riding at a property in Hopeland when she may have hit a tree.
“Hana was a popular young trainer and in a tragic irony she was expected to return to racing at Belmont with Disciple after an absence of a couple of years,” said a WARTA spokesman.
He added the WARTA committee and its members offer their “deepest and heartfelt condolences” to Hana’s family “at this most heartbreaking time”.
WARTA president Trevor Andrews said that Hana was respected by her peers and had been involved in training for around 10 years.
“Everybody is just so shocked,” he said. “She died doing what she loved, but she was too young.”