Equestrian community re-saddles following Scone tragedy
April 5, 2016 1623 Views

Equestrian community re-saddles following Scone tragedy

BY JAMES HETHERINGTON

One month on from the death of 17 year old Olivia Inglis, who died whilst competing at the Scone horse trials, equestrian athletes across the country are beginning to move back into competition and support the memory of a much loved young girl.

The effects of Olivia’s death during the cross country phase of the competition have been far reaching with over 22 million people worldwide participating in the #rideforolivia social media phenomenon.

This asked people to post their favourite horse picture accompanied by the hashtag, a notion which was adopted right throughout all equestrian disciplines from eventing to cutting horses and rodeo riders.

The mass of images was then developed into a collage of Olivia, and presented to the Inglis family.

#rideforolivia mosaic presentation: Artist Lisa Purcell presents her mosaic creation to Olivia’s mother Charlotte and younger sister Alexandra Inglis

#rideforolivia mosaic presentation: Artist Lisa Purcell presents her mosaic creation to Olivia’s mother Charlotte and younger sister Alexandra Inglis

Eventing rider Skye Ramsay was at the Scone Event where Olivia fatally lost her life and said whilst she wasn’t overly close to Inglis, the realisation of her fellow competitor’s death had made it difficult to get back into competition.

“You just don’t ever expect someone to not come back from a cross country round, I mean everybody falls off from time to time and broken bones are I guess expected but for somebody to die doing the same sport you love, it’s hard to comprehend.”

The horse community has been bound more closely by #rideforolivia, which has helped develop a public memory of the 17year old. It has also highlighted that for Olivia and others riding is not merely a sport but a passion and way of life.

Ramsay recalls questioning whether her passion for competing was worth her life.

“I just thought about if that was me that died what would I want people to do? And whether I’d want people to stop doing something we all love.

“I guess at the end of the day your chances of dying driving to the event are probably greater than those of actually competing.”

The recent Equestrian New South Wales Awards night was a sombre celebration of the year.

MC Alan Jones summed upthe situation: “Olivia died doing what she loved and what she did so successfully. The best way we can honor Olivia is to continue to do what you do well with the enthusiasm and commitment she showed with everything she did.”

An Olivia Inglis Eventing Scholarship has been set up to aid young eventing athletes, with more than $95,000 raised to date.  The Scone Horse Trials have donated the unpresented prize money from the event to the fund in the hope of bringing some good from this tragedy.

 

 

 

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