Funeral of ‘exceptional’ horse rider Tiggy Hancock (15) to take place next week

The young event rider died following an accident during a training session in Dublin

The funeral of 15-year-old horse rider Tiggy Hancock, who died following an accident during a training session at a Dublin equestrian centre earlier this week, will take place on Monday.

And as a mark of respect to the young rider, the board of Eventing Ireland has called off dressage tests that were due to take place in Co Tipperary this weekend. The organisation asked that participants wear yellow, Tiggy's favourite colour, to upcoming events.

Tributes have poured in for the talented event rider from Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, who had been destined for a “huge future” in eventing.

The chief executive of Horse Sport Ireland (HSI), Joe Reynolds, said the accident happened during a training session at Greenogue Equestrian for pony eventers organised by HSI ahead of a championship. Tiggy was "shaping up so well" and she had a "huge future in front of her", he said.


“She was competent, confident, and also, it is hugely important, she was well liked by her peers, the trainers, by everybody that interacted with her,” he said.

The Irish Pony Society said its members were “shocked and saddened” to hear of the untimely death of a beloved member. Tiggy was an “exceptional and talented young rider who was an inspiration and was looked up to by so many of our members”, the society said in a statement. The teenager’s riding accomplishments are “well documented” in Ireland and in Britain, and she will always be remembered for her “radiant smile, her gratitude and laughter in victory and defeat”, it added.

‘Deeply saddened’

Showjumping Ireland’s Leinster branch noted that the “entire equestrian community are deeply saddened at the loss of such a promising young person”.

“We offer our support to the family in this time of extreme sadness but we are sure that the many happy memories of this young lady and her achievements will help give strength to those close to her,” the organisation said.

The tributes also came from across the Irish Sea, where Tiggy was a notable competitor. The British Show Pony Society said it was very sad to hear about the loss of “one of our most talented junior riders”. The organisation described her as “exceptional and talented” in her sport and a young person who was “much loved and admired” among competitors.

Tiggy is survived by her parents Frank and Jane and sisters Eliza and Lucy, as well as many relatives and friends in the equestrian community and beyond.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter