UK & World News
Somerford Park: Rider Killed At Horse Trials
A young rider who died after falling from his horse during an eventing competition has been named as Tom Gadsby.
The Somerford Park horse trials, held in Congleton, Cheshire, were abandoned after the accident.
The death of the 25-year-old, from New Zealand, is being treated by police as a "tragic accident".
Somerford Park's website, Olympic riders from several countries were due to attend the trials at the River Dane valley site. The event had started on Friday and was due to finish today.
Mr Gadsby was based with international eventer Tiny Clapham near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire and had been competing in the UK since last year, a statement on the Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) website said.
He was competing in a one star class on board The Drover, a seven-year-old skewbald gelding, when the accident happened at one of the course fences at about 2.20pm yesterday. His horse was uninjured.
Cheshire Police said officers were called at 3pm to a report of a rider having fallen from his horse, and a spokesman said he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mike Etherington-Smith, chief executive of British Eventing, the sport's governing body, said people were shocked and saddened at Mr Gadsby's death.
He said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Tom's family at this really sad time."
Jim Ellis, chief executive of ESNZ, said the whole equestrian community was shocked by the news.
"On behalf of ESNZ members I express our sincerest condolences to Tom's family and close friends," he said.
"Tom was a talented showjumper and eventer who was in Europe to fulfill his dream of competing as a professional event rider - a dream he achieved but which has been tragically cut short."
He thanked colleagues at British Eventing as well as the officials and medical staff who assisted Mr Gadsby after his fall.
Fellow event riders paid tribute to him.
Event rider Ginny Howe wrote: "Absolutely devastated to hear the news from @somerfordpark. I just can't believe it. Thoughts go out to all friends and family."
Fellow rider Lissa Green added: "Still in utter shock to hear the tragic news at Somerford Park. A very special guy with a huge heart. You will be sorely missed."