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Tom Gadsby dies competing in horse trials

Posted in: Personal Injury Sporting Injuries Wrongful & Accidental Death 

26-year-old Tom Gadsby died on the weekend while competing at The Somerford Park international horse trials in Congleton. The young rider from New Zealand took a fall on the final day of the event during the cross-country, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Olympic riders and eventers from all around the world attended to compete in the event at the River Dane valley site, which began on Friday. However, the competition was abandoned following Tom Gadsby’s fall on Sunday.

Had been in Europe to fulfil his dream

The head of Equestrian Sports New Zealand, Jim Ellis, described Mr Gadsby’s fall as “a tragic day”, saying he was a “talented show jumper”. Mr. Ellis said the Mr. Gadsby had been in Europe to “fulfil his dream of competing as a professional event rider — a dream he achieved but which has been tragically cut short”.

Tom Gadsby, originally from Kerikeri, north of Auckland, had been competing for many years at grand pix-level show jumping before he decided to return to eventing only last year.

Twitter has seen numerous tributes paid to the rider from many people in the eventing world. International eventer Emily Baldwin also commented on the tragic occurrence, describing it as “horrific news”.

Dangers of the sport

Lucinda Woolley (16), from Chattisham, also died from a riding accident this month, after falling from her horse on the 7th of August. After her fall she was immediately airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, where she tragically died the following day as a result of her head injuries. Emily Baldwin’s comment regarding the death of Tom Gadsby perfectly highlights the sport’s dangers as she said: 

“Once again it’s a reminder of how precious this life is and how real the risks are in our wonderful sport”.

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