Tributes paid to talented horse rider (15) who died following training accident

Tiggy Hancock won a team medal at the European Championships in 2019

 Tiggy Hancock, pictured in 2019 during a European eventing competition in Co Kildare. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Tiggy Hancock, pictured in 2019 during a European eventing competition in Co Kildare. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

 

Tributes have been paid to a 15-year-old Carlow girl who died at an equestrian centre in Dublin on Wednesday.

Tiggy Hancock, from Bagenalstown, suffered serious injuries during a training session at Greenogue Equestrian on Wednesday afternoon and later died at Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The girl was an experienced and talented pony event rider who won a team medal for her country at the European Championships in 2019.

The owner of the centre, Lucy McCarthy, said Tiggy will be “sadly missed by everyone in the equestrian community”.

Greenogue Equestrian Centre in Newcastle, Co. Dublin, where the fatality occurred. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Greenogue Equestrian Centre in Newcastle, Co. Dublin, where the fatality occurred. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

“Following yesterday’s tragic accident in the equestrian centre, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the young rider involved,” she said.

In a statement, Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) said the loss of a young person in the sport is “hard to comprehend”.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young rider who was a much-loved member of the equestrian community,” the organisation said.

Greenogue Equestrian Centre in Newcastle, Co. Dublin, where the fatality occurred. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Greenogue Equestrian Centre in Newcastle, Co. Dublin, where the fatality occurred. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The chief executive of Horse Sport Ireland Joe Reynolds described Tiggy as a “really talented athlete”. Mr Reynolds became emotional as he spoke to RTÉ’s News at One radio programme about the young rider who had a “huge future ahead of her”.

Tiggy was “competent and confident and also hugely important. She was well-liked by her peers, by her trainers and everyone who interacted with her”, he said.

HSI encouraged the young rider’s teammates and friends in the sport to come forward and seek support from the organisation’s dedicated support worker.

“This will be a difficult time for teammates and friends in the sport… HSI have a designated support person to assist individuals affected, if they are struggling with this terrible loss.” The organisation also requested that the family’s request for privacy be respected.

In Dublin, Clondalkin councillor Peter Kavanagh said the death of the teen is an “unspeakable tragedy” that will be felt throughout the community and beyond.

“When a tragedy like this strikes, as a community we all feel it,” he said, adding that his sympathies are with the girl’s family.