Olympic show jumper Jean-Claude Van Geenberghe has died

  • Belgian and Ukrainian Olympic show jumper Jean-Claude Van Geenberghe, 46, died suddenly on Saturday 9 May while competing at an event in the Ukraine.

    A German newspaper has reported that Mr Van Geenburge collapsed during the prize giving having won a class. An aneurism is suspected.

    Mr Van Geenberghe, who won the Belgian national championship three times, was well known and respected on the international jumping circuit.

    He won the Aachen Grand Prix in 1987 and 1995 and was placed 16th individually at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, where he rode for Belgium.

    He changed nationality after marrying an Ukrainian and competed for Ukraine at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, coming 10th individually.

    Mr Van Geenberghe was also involved in Zilveren Spoor equestrian centre in Moorsele, Belgium, which hosts several international events annually.

    International Equestrian Federation director of jumping John Roche said: “Jean-Claude’s untimely death comes as a tremendous shock to all of us and creates a huge void in the equestrian world.

    “He was a great horsemen whose involvement, passion and dedication to the sport will be greatly missed. We all admired his talent and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”

    His funeral will take place on 19 May in Moorsele.

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