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Published on Aug 18, 2013
A 25-year-old rider has died in an accident at a horse trials in Cheshire, British Eventing has said.
The Somerford Park international in Congleton, which was into their final day, was abandoned after the male competitor fell from his horse.
Olympic riders from several countries had been attending the trials at the River Dane valley site since Friday.
North West Ambulance Service attended the site at 14:20 BST. No more details about the man have been released.
British Eventing, the sport's governing body, said: "We would ask that at this extremely sad time that people using social media respect the fact that the rider's family may not be aware of the accident."
But Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) said the rider was from New Zealand and the accident happened on the cross country course.
Jim Ellis, chief executive of ESNZ, said: "This is a tragic day for our sport and thoughts of everyone in the NZ equestrian community are with the rider's family at this terrible time." Twitter tributes
In a statement, Somerford Park said: "A rider suffered a fatal injury at Somerford Park International Horse Trials today. No further information will be released until the next of kin have been informed."
A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: "At 3pm today, police were called to an incident at an equestrian event in the area of Somerford, Congleton, to a report of a rider having fallen from his horse.
"Sadly, it was confirmed that a 25-year-old male had been pronounced dead at the scene, having fallen from his horse in what appears to be a tragic accident."
Tributes to the rider have been paid on Twitter by people from the eventing world.
Event rider Ginny Howe wrote: "Absolutely devastated to hear the news... Thoughts go out to all friends and family."
Irish rider Aoife Clark said: "Such sad news from Somerford - just awful. Thoughts are with family and friends."
International event rider Emily Baldwin described the incident as "horrific news".
"Once again it's a reminder of how precious this life is and how real the risks are in our wonderful sport," she said.
Channel 4 racing presenter Clare Balding tweeted: "Devastating news of rider fatality today. No details until family has been fully informed. Just awful."