French international eventer Maxime Debost suffered a fatal accident while competing at the Chateaubriant CCI* (France).
Debost and his horse Qurt De Montplaisir suffered a rotational fall at fence 11, halfway around the cross-country course. On-site medical specialists were at the scene immediately after the accident, but Debost could not be saved.
Qurt De Montplaisir was uninjured in the fall.
The rest of the day’s cross-country competition was cancelled following the accident, and the police and the Fédération Equestre Internationale are conducting a full investigation into the circumstances of the incident.
Originally from Lyon, Debost, 29, was based in Rambouillet with his partner Marie Couëllo and their son Raphael. Debost had been competing on the international circuit since 2005, including completing the Pau CCI**** (France) in 2010 with ITHaurel. He rode Qurt De Montplaisir to ninth place at the Haras Du Pin CICO*** (France) last month.
“This is a really tragic accident, and I know I speak on behalf of everyone in the equestrian community in expressing our grief at this terrible news about Maxime Debost,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “Maxime was a very experienced rider who had been competing internationally for the past 12 years, and his loss will affect so many people in our community.
“On behalf of the FEI and everyone in the global eventing family, I extend our sincere condolences to Maxime’s family and his many friends in the sport, and to the French Equestrian Federation,” Ibáñez continued. “We are working tirelessly to minimize the risk factors in our sport, particularly in eventing, and today’s accident brings home just how important this work is.”
Pascal Leborgne, President of the Ground Jury, said, “On very rare occasions a rider loses their life during a three-day event. This loss is a tragedy. On this sad occasion, the organising committee and the eventing world offers Maxime Debost’s family their thoughts and prayers.”