Maxime Debost (FRA) suffered a fatal accident on Saturday, September 23rd while competing in the CCI1* at Chateaubriant (FRA).
His passing marks the first eventing rider death of 2017.
Reports the FEI:
Debost and his horse Qurt de Montplaisir suffered a rotational fall at fence 11, halfway round the cross country course. On-site medical specialists were at the scene immediately after the accident, but sadly the athlete could not be saved.
The horse was uninjured in the fall.
The rest of the day’s cross country competition was cancelled following the accident and police and the FEI are conducting a full investigation into the circumstances of the incident.
Originally from Lyon, Maxime Debost (29) was based in Rambouillet with his partner Marie Gouëllo and their son Raphaël. He had been competing on the international Eventing circuit since 2005, including completing the CCI4* at Pau in 2010 with ITHaurel. He rode two horses at the Chateaubriant event in 2016, finishing third with Qurt De Montplaisir, the horse he rode to ninth place at the CICO3* Nations Cup event in Haras du Pin last month. He won at the CCI1* at both Haras du Pin and Jardy last year with Texas De Cavilly and was second in the Haras du Pin CIC3* with Qurt De Montplaisir. He also competed at the CCIO3* FEI Nations Cup event at Boekelo (NED) in October last year.
“This is a really tragic accident and I know I speak on behalf of everyone in the equestrian community in expressing our grief at this terrible news about Maxime Debost.” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “Maxime was a very experienced rider who had been competing internationally for the past 12 years and his loss will affect so many people in our community.
“On behalf of the FEI and everyone in the global Eventing family, I extend our sincere condolences to Maxime’s family and his many friends in the sport, and to the French Equestrian Federation.
“We are working tirelessly to minimise the risk factors in our sport, particularly in Eventing, and today’s accident brings home just how important this work is.”
Pascal Leborgne, President of the Ground Jury, said: “On very rare occasions a rider loses their life during a three-day event. This loss is a tragedy. On this sad occasion, the organising committee and the eventing world offers Maxime Debost’s family their thoughts and prayers.”
A commemoration for Debost is scheduled for Thursday at 2pm at Crématorium de Crouël in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Events scheduled for Jardy and Lignières on Thursday have been postponed or cancelled out of respect for the local rider.