Tragedy struck at the Sydney International Horse Trials in Australia this morning. Nineteen-year-old Caitlyn Fischer suffered a fatal fall on the cross country course riding the 12-year-old gelding Ralphie.
From the FEI:
It is with deepest regret that we confirm that Caitlyn Fischer (AUS) suffered a fatal accident while competing at the Sydney International Horse Trials (AUS) today.
Caitlyn Fischer, 19, was riding the 12-year-old gelding Ralphie in the CCI1*competition when the accident occurred at fence two. Immediate medical attention was provided by the on-course paramedic and doctor but unfortunately the rider was unable to be revived.
The horse is in a stable condition and remains under the observation of veterinarians.
Caitlyn Fischer had been competing at CCI1* level for over a year with Ralphie, finishing seventh at Albury NSW in 2015 and Camden NSW earlier this month.
“On behalf of the whole sport I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Caitlyn’s parents Alisa Carr and Mark Fischer and her family,” Equestrian Australia Chairwoman Judy Fasher said. “The thoughts and prayers of horse people all over the country are with Caitlyn’s family and friends at this sad time.”
“As a mother myself, my heart goes out to the family and friends of Caitlyn Fischer after this tragic accident,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “The safety and welfare of riders and horses is our top priority at all FEI events. On behalf of the FEI and the whole sport, I would like to express our most sincere condolences to Caitlyn Fischer’s family and her many friends in the sport.”
A full investigation into the accident has been launched.
In the wake of the tragedy, competition at the Sydney International Horse Trials has been cancelled. Organizers of the event have arranged counselling services with Davidson Trahaire Corpsych to support anyone who was in attendance. (Call 1300 360 364 and mention Equestrian Australia to be directed to a counsellor.)
The heartbreaking loss is the second teen death in as many months. In February, a rotational fall claimed the life of 17-year-old Australian eventer Olivia Inglis in South West Wales.
Messages of condolences have been pouring in over social media for the fallen teen.
RIP Caitlyn Fischer.Another young life taken doing what she loved. Rest easy #rideoncaitlynfischer pic.twitter.com/IcuGxQmaCr
— Emma Lee (@ema_dem) April 30, 2016
I am deeply saddened to hear the tragic news from Australia this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with Caitlyn Fischer's family.
— Andrew Hoy (@HoyEventing) April 30, 2016
So sad another young life has been lost on a X country course. RIP Caitlyn Fischer. Condolences to her family. Fingers crossed for Ralphie.
— tracy grimshaw (@tracygrimshaw) April 30, 2016
Thoughts are with our friends at @EquestrianAus and the family of Caitlyn Fischer. Tragic end to a day of athletes enjoying their sport.
— Kate McLoughlin (@katemcloughlin4) April 30, 2016
Bairnsdale Adult Equestrian says 19 year old Caitlyn Fischer was very excited to be competing in NSW. So tragic. pic.twitter.com/Iv4uHHYbLU
— Ashleigh Brown (@AshBrown_) April 30, 2016
may you rest in peace, Caitlyn. so sad to hear about another young rider passing away this young. #RIPCaitlyn #RideForCaitlyn
First Olivia, now Caitlyn. #RideForCaitlyn ❤️ RIP another rider taken too soon pic.twitter.com/5zD8cFTwSs
— Mackenzie (@mckenz__) April 30, 2016
#rideforcaitlyn A clever, kind, generous and beautiful human, tragically taken too soon xx
— leah stoffels (@lastoffels) April 30, 2016
Our thoughts go out her family and friends. RIP, Caitlyn.