Tributes have been paid to a talented rider and “beautiful person” who has died at the age of 33.
Eventer Tom Searle died on Wednesday (24 May), days after he jumped double clear at his first CIC2*, at Rockingham International on Garranlea Vivendi.
Hundreds of fellow riders and friends have paid tribute to Tom online.
“For many people they will remember you for your talent on a horse, that amazing big smile and your wonderful personality,” wrote one. “A beautiful person inside and out.”
“Shine brightly my darling like the diamond you were,” added another.
BHSI instructor Tom trained all levels of horse and rider from his base in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
He achieved a BSc in equine science at Hartpury, during which time he also worked for event riders and saved up to buy his first horse, Killkenny King.
“Tom then went to work for the Gibsons of West Kington and they helped him learn that if you want something in life you have to go for it. So he did,” his website reads, explaining that Tom then set up his business Tom Searle Equestrian.
Tom had enjoyed a successful start to the 2017 eventing season, with placings on Carrabawn Golden View, C Born Fresh Z and Gracia Noordenhoer as well as Garranlea Vivendi.
“You left us way too early,” wrote another friend online.
“Your kindness, knowledge, banter and time for everyone in life meant you were loved by all and inspired others to chase their dreams. I really hope we helped you chase your dreams in the short time you had. My love and respect for you will never die.”
“I just can’t believe it,” added another. “Tom Searle, you were a wonderful person with the biggest of hearts and such a lovely personality. An absolutely phenomenal instructor and I am still thankful for all the help you gave me. Thoughts are with your family and friends.”