It is with deepest regret that we confirm that there was a rider fatality on Saturday, 24 September 2016 at the CEI 2* 120km at Llay Llay, in the Valparaíso region of Chile. Hugo Valdés Barros (CHI), 58, fell from his home-bred, 10-year-old gelding MP Sifax on the second loop.
There were no witnesses to the incident, but it is thought that the rider fell after his horse failed to make a turn on the track and jumped a small canal. The horse was uninjured in the incident.
The Organising Committee cancelled the rest of the day’s events and a full police investigation has been launched to look into the circumstances of the accident.
Hugo Valdés Barros, who lived just outside Chile’s capital Santiago, had worked with horses all his life. He had competed in Endurance events at national level in Chile for more than a decade and internationally for the past two seasons. This was his second CEI 2* with MP Sifax, having finished 12th at their last outing on 14 May in Matetic (CHI).
He leaves behind his wife Maria Pía, daughter María Elisa and two sons, Cristián and Ignacio.
“We send our deepest condolences to Hugo’s wife María Pía, sons Cristián and Ignacio and daughter María Elisa, and his relatives and Friends,” President of the Associación Chilena de Enduro Ecuestre Cristian Herrera said. “Hugo was an exceptional man. His passion for the sport of Endurance and his love for horses will remain with us. May his soul rest in peace.”
Read the farewell message from the Associación Chilena de Enduro Ecuestre here (in Spanish): http://188.8.131.52/home/?p=7816
“As the President of the Ground Jury at Llay Llay, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Hugo Valdés Barros and to the whole Endurance family,” FEI Official Elizabeth Huyghe said.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Hugo Valdés Barros,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “The FEI and the global equestrian family send our deep condolences and support to Chile at this very difficult time.”
A funeral mass was held at the Church of Santa Elena in Santiago on 26 September, and a memorial service for Hugo’s fellow riders and friends will be held at the Cementerio Parque del Recuerdo on Saturday 1 October at 17.00.