Tributes after horse trials death

Hillingdon Times: Tributes have been paid to a top horse rider who died at an equestrian event after a fall Tributes have been paid to a top horse rider who died at an equestrian event after a fall

Tributes have been paid to a British-based rider who died in an accident at an annual horse trials event in Somerset.

Canadian national Jordan McDonald was killed in a fall at Nunney International Horse Trials hours after a German rider died at an event near Hamburg.

Mr McDonald, who was based in Leicestershire, died while competing at the Nunney International competition near Frome, and rising German star Benjamin Winter was killed during Germany's major four-star event at Luhmuhlen.

McDonald, 30, had been married for just a year to fellow eventer Shandiss McDonald, and was riding on a cross-country course at the Frome event.

"It is with the deepest regret that we announce that Mr Jordan McDonald suffered a fatal accident whilst competing at Nunney British Eventing-affiliated one-day event in Somerset," British Eventing said, in a statement.

"Jordan's horse, Only Me, a seven-year-old gelding, was not injured.

"Jordan was aged 30 and based in Leicestershire, but is Canadian by nationality."

Competition was halted for the day following McDonald's accident, but resumed today with many riders wearing black armbands as a mark of respect, including reigning Badminton Horse Trials champion Sam Griffiths.

"Unbelievably sad day for our sport," Griffiths said on Twitter. "Our thoughts are with the families and friends involved. Life is so precious."

Nunney is a relatively new event on the British calendar, but attracts many of the world's top riders.

Competitors entered this year included Griffiths, Zara Phillips, Tina Cook and Izzy Taylor.

Horse riding fan Samantha Elton, 44, who went to the event as a spectator, said everyone at the event had been shocked by the tragedy.

She said: "There are risks which come with horse riding, but it is still nevertheless a big shock when a rider dies after falling from a horse.

"Only earlier on I had heard that (German rider) Benjamin Winter died following a fall at the Luhmuhlen. So, to be here and learn a Canadian rider has died... Well, it just sends shivers down your spine.

"Two deaths in the sport on the same day is pretty unheard of."

Equestrian sport's world governing body, the Federation Equestre Internationale, released a statement following 25-year-old Winter's death at Luhmuhlen yesterday.

The FEI also confirmed that a full investigation into the accident had been launched.

Competition continued today at the request of Winter's family.

"Mr Winter and the 10-year-old gelding Ispo had a rotational fall at fence 20, resulting in fatal injuries to the rider. The horse was uninjured in the fall," the FEI said.

A statement posted by event organisers on the official Luhmuhlen website said Winter was taken by helicopter to Hamburg-Boberg Accident and Emergency Hospital following his fall, where he died.

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