Last week, 19-year-old Australian eventer Caitlyn Fischer suffered a fatal accident on the cross-country course during the Sydney International Horse Trials CCI1*competition.

In the days following the tragedy, the global equestrian community issued an outpouring of support and condolences for Caitlyn’s family and friends over social media (you can read some of them here). This week, the Fischers released their own statement in their daughter’s honor:

“Our daughter and sister Caitlyn was a gifted, spirited and quietly determined young woman. Always striving to do her best, Caitlyn was an exemplary school student and disciplined horse rider. Caitlyn’s horses loved her and she loved them in return.

For Caitlyn it was never about the ribbons or accolades, in fact she had a dislike for having her name or photograph in the paper. For Caitlyn, the aim was always to improve on her last performance and she was fortunate to work with some phenomenal coaches through her riding career.

The main boy in her life was her best friend Ralphie and as a family we were so proud of the dedication that Caitlyn showed her horses. Even during her final year of school Caitlyn would wake at 4:30 every morning to make sure ‘Ralph’ was exercised and fed. We are pleased that Ralphie did not sustain any serious injuries and will be able to return home soon.

Our hearts are aching for our daughter and we have been overwhelmed by the support extended to us from members of our extended family, the horse riding and school communities.

Caitlyn will be cremated at a private ceremony with a service celebrating her life to be held in Bairnsdale at a date to be advised.”

-Ailsa Carr, Mark Fischer and Kristofer Fischer