Another cross-country rider dies

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The Independent Online

A 35-year-old woman has died after being crushed by her horse during a cross-country competition in western Victoria state, the second equestrian death in as many weeks in Australia.

Acting Sgt. Paul Shannon of Camperdown police said today that the woman, whose name has not been released at the request of the family, died when her horse fell on her during the midway point of the cross-country course in a pre-novice event at the Lakeside Reserve in Camperdown.

On April 9, Mark Myers, of Queensland state, was killed during a cross-country event at Brisbane. Myers was also crushed by his horse when it failed to negotiate a jump on the Fig Tree Pocket cross-country course.

Last year five riders, including Australian Robert Slade, were killed in Britain in five months.

The deaths prompted the International Equestrian Federation to appoint a special committee to discuss the safety of eventing. Its report is due to be presented in Britain in mid-May after the Badminton horse trials.

Shannon said a doctor failed to revive the woman at the scene of Sunday's accident.

"She had been riding for over 20 years and was quite experienced," said Shannon. "It was a bad fall, but there didn't appear to be any pre-exposing factors.

"If the horse had rolled to the right, it would have missed her. Since it rolled to the left, it crushed her. The course designer said it was the easiest jump on the course."

Shannon said there were about 80 competitors in Sunday's event. A coroner's inquest will be held.