A 19-year-old has died in an eventing accident in Australia.
A statement from the event organisers released this morning (Saturday, 30 April) read: “It is with the deepest regret that we announce Miss Caitlyn Fischer suffered a fatal accident while competing at the cross-country competition of the Sydney International Horse Trials at 10:40am on Saturday 30 April 2016.
“Caitlyn, aged 19 from Bairnsdale, Victoria, was riding the horse Ralphie in the one-star competition when the accident occurred at fence two.
“Caitlyn was provided urgent medical attention by the on-course paramedic and doctor but unfortunately was unable to be revived.
“Caitlyn’s horse Ralphie is in a stable condition and remains under the observation of veterinarians.”
Caitlyn had previously ridden Ralphie, her own 12-year-old part-thoroughbred gelding, in six CIC*s. They completed all of them apart from the first, in which they were eliminated for a rider fall, and had finished seventh at the level twice, including on their last international run at Camden, New South Wales. The pair were contesting the CCI* on this occasion.
Equestrian Australia chairwoman Judy Fasher said, “On behalf of the whole sport I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Caitlyn’s parents Ailsa Carr and Mark Fischer and her family. The thoughts and prayers of horse people all over the country are with Caitlyn’s family and friends at this sad time.”
Judy added during the press conference that Equestrian Australia had immediately launched its own investigation into the accident and that the organising committee and officials would be supporting the police investigation. She also said that Wayne Roycroft would be conducting the investigation on behalf of the FEI.
The rest of the event was cancelled. Before the accident, the CIC* competitors had already done their cross-country, as had most of the CCI* field, with CIC2*, CCI2*, CCI3*, CIC3* classes still to run, plus some national classes.
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This is the second fatal eventing accident to happen in Australia in as many months. Olivia Inglis, 17, was killed on 6 March in a rotational fall at Scone Horse Trials while competing in a national two-star (CNC2*) competition. Her horse, Coriolanus, was initially thought to have only minor injuries, but was later put down after it was revealed he had suffered a displaced fracture in his neck.