Tragedy struck the eventing community today at the Ratomka Horse Trials, Minsk (Belarus). Russian rider Nikita Sotskov died following a rotational fall at fence 21 on the CIC3* course. He was 21.
From the FEI:
It is with the deepest regret that we confirm that Nikita Sotskov (RUS) suffered a fatal accident today (10 September) while competing at the Ratomka Horse Trials, Minsk (Belarus).
Nikita Sotskov and his horse Larry Carlton suffered a rotational fall at fence 21, the second to last obstacle on the CIC3* course. On-site medical specialists were at the scene immediately after the accident, but sadly the rider could not be saved. The horse was examined by an official veterinarian and treated for a minor injury to its left hind leg.
Nikita Sotskov, 21, had been riding internationally since 2010, and represented Russia at two European Championships, competing at both junior and young rider level. He had extensive 2* experience, with a number of top 10 placings with three horses—Ledok, Ilvina V and Larry Carlton. The Ratomka event was his first 3* outing.
Safety in equestrian sport is a top priority for the FEI and all National Federations, and the FEI is working continuously to make the sport as safe as possible for all athletes, both human and equine. The circumstances of today’s accident will be fully reviewed.
David O’Connor (USA) has been nominated to chair the FEI Risk Management working group which will focus on coordinating initiatives on a global basis, including technology developments, data, and statistics, as well as further educational outreach for athletes, course designers, coaches, and technical delegates. The working group’s remit is to look at all options to minimise risk factors and is in addition to the FEI’s continual work focused on improving safety in the sport.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we confirm the devastating loss of one of our community in this tragic accident at Ratomka today,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “Nikita Sotskov was one of Russia’s promising young riders and this news will have a profound effect on all those involved in the sport.
“On behalf of the FEI and the global eventing community, I extend our sincere condolences to Nikita Sotskov’s family and friends in the sport, and to the Russian and Belarusian Equestrian Federations.”
“At every FEI event, the maximum consideration is given to the safety and welfare of horses and competitors.” Mr Natallia Yuranava, the President of the Ground Jury said “On behalf of the whole sport I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Nikita Sotskov`s family”
The Equestrian Federation of Belarus expresses deepest condolence to the family of Nikita Sotskov.