THE FIVE WHO DIED TAKING PART IN HORSE TRIALS

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The Independent Online
Peta Beckett

Aged 33 and a lecturer in equine science at Moreton Morrell College, Warwickshire, she bred horses near Banbury, where she lived with her husband and children, eight, and six. Ranked the 24th best showjumper in the world, she was expected to represent Britain in the Sydney Olympics 2000. She died in May at the Savernake Forest Horse Trials near Marlborough, Wiltshire, when she fell and was crushed by her horse.

Robert Slade

The Australian-born rider arrived in Britain two years ago. He was based at the renowned Jane and David Tolly yard in Oxfordshire. Just a few days before he died, he was long-listed to represent his country in next year's Olympic Games in Sydney. He had been on the training squad for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona but missed Atlanta. A fun-loving man, Mr Slade, 30, was also among the circuit's most experienced riders.

He was killed in June, just a month after completing his first Badminton. The accident happened at the Wilton Horse Trials near Salisbury, Wiltshire, when his horse rolled on to him after falling at a fence.

Polly Phillipps

A former junior national champion and practising veterinary surgeon, Polly Phillipps lived in Leicestershire with her husband, Vere, a horse dealer. She represented Britain in the 1997 Open European Championship at Burghley and came seventh at the 1998 World Championship in Italy. She died in August at the Scottish Championship Horse Trials when her gelding mistimed the 10th fence and landed on her. The horse was unhurt.

Simon Long

A seasoned horseman, Long, 38, gave up show jumping four years ago and turned to eventing. Having also competed in team chasing and dressage he was a rare all-rounder. The farmer's son of Wiltshire, where he ran his own yard, entered his first Badminton this year, finishing a creditable 27th. He died at his first attempt at the Burghley Horse Trials, Cambridgeshire, one of the toughest in the world. His horse, Springleaze Macaroo, hit the 20th fence on the four-and-a-half-mile course with both front legs and somersaulted on to him.

Peter McLean

Peter McLean, 20, of Lanark, Scotland, was a rising star. His big chance came in July when he was offered a job as stable rider for the Lawrence David event team in Cambridgeshire. Before that he had worked for Chris Hunnable, a member of the British eventing team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. It was on one of his employer's horses, Gracious Me II, that Mr McLean suffered fatal injuries at the Somerleyton Horse Trials in Suffolk. He died in hospital after falling at fence five, a parallel rails on level ground.

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