Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright was a British event rider who died at the age of 38 in February 2021.

“Matthew has always been open with everyone about his own battles with mental health and has worked hard to support others through their own,” his family said in a statement released soon after his death.

“Please could we ask that you respect the family’s privacy and give us the opportunity to grieve at this difficult time.”

Matthew first sprang to prominence riding the home-bred coloured horse Park Pilot, with whom he was on the British silver medal-winning team at the young rider European Championships in Wiendorf, Austria, in 2002. The pair also finished sixth individually.

Three years later Matthew rode the same horse as an individual at the senior European Championships at Blenheim Horse Trials, landing 13th place.

Matthew also competed at the top level of the sport notably early in his career, making his Burghley Horse Trials debut in 2002 aged 19 and completing on All The Best II. He completed Badminton Horse Trials the following year on the same horse and his best five-star placing came just a year later, when he was ninth at Badminton on Mallard’s Treat in 2004. He completed five Burghleys and six Badmintons during his career.

Matthew Wright won 17 international classes during his career, including the World Cup qualifier at Ballindenisk in 2006 on Park Pilot. He also achieved three victories in the CCI2* (now CCI3*-L) at Blair on Hugginstown.

Matthew suffered and recovered from testicular cancer and was open about the fact his treatment caused him to gain weight, which left him self conscious and anxious.

Matthew’s mental health struggles led to him setting up Riders Minds in 2020 with his wife Victoria and support from a number of companies. The British Grooms Association (BGA) and Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) acted as consultants.

Matthew had three children – Isabella, William and Niamh – with Victoria.