Tiggy Hancock – Rising Equestrian Star’s Tragic Death

tiggy hancock

The death of an exceptionally talented young person, hit the equestrian community like a ton of bricks. The inspiring and ambitious Tiggy Hancock met a tragic end while doing what she loved most – riding her ponies. 

Tiggy Hancock was just 15 years old when she passed away. She only began eventing in the fall of 2018 and she was described as a “rising star in showjumping events.” Tiggy was from Bagenalstown, Co Carlow in Ireland, where she was able to grow up riding horses. From a very young age, Tiggy was part of the equestrian community. She was part of the Kilkenny Hunt Pony Club and became a successful hunter pony competitor.

Horse Sport Ireland said “Tiggy was a highly talented young athlete and a respected member of our pony high performance eventing programme. She only began eventing in 2018 and made an immediate mark on the sport.”

Through her career, she was chosen to represent Ireland at the under-16 European Team Championships held in Poland. At the event, Tiggy and her team received a bronze medal.

Recently, Tiggy gained even more respect from her community and senior equestrians. At the Coppenagh Spring Sparrow, she was able to place just outside the podium. Thus beating out seasoned athletes who have competed at global levels.

tigy hancock

“Everyone in the society is shocked and saddened by the untimely death of one of our beloved members, Tiggy Hancock. The IPS wishes to extend our deepest sympathies to her family and many friends.” A statement posted on Facebook from The Irish Pony Society.

Tributes and condolences poured in for the young equestrian and her family. Many members of the community are devastated at such a tragic death of a young person with exceptional abilities.

How Did Tiggy Hancock Die?

Tiggy died On Wednesday, June 16th 2021, after a devastating accident at Greenogue, Dublin during a squad training event. It has been said that at a jump, Tiggy fell from a horse jump and was severely injured.

She was taken to Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin but unfortunately passed away. As support for her friends, family and team mates pour in, a police investigation is underway.

The family made a request for privacy and has not disclosed the exact cause of death.

A friend took to Facebook to express their condolences “Her passion for her ponies and horses could not be unmatched, but more so the truly inspiration little lady that is Tiggy touched so many lives giving only joy with that huge smile that always beamed from her. We all miss you Tiggy Hancock, you have taken a piece of all of our hearts. We hope you are in you ultimate pony heaven.”

How Dangerous Is Eventing?

Eventing is an equestrian event that involves 3 disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross-country. A mastery of all these disciplines is required not only by the rider, but horse as well.

Eventing is considered on of the more risky disciplines within the equestrian sport. It can be very dangerous because it requires extensive training in 3 different categories.

Dressage being the least risky and cross-country being the most risky. In a cross-country event, riders must travel through fields at high speeds on horse back, jumping over natural and stages obstacles. Some jumps do not come apart which can cause of serious injuries. If a horse hits, stumbles or spooks during show-jumping or cross-country the rider could be ejected from the horse which can cause serious injury. Additionally, riders can be crushed, kicked or trampled after falling from a spooked horse.

In cross country it is often mandatory to wear body protectors. These are foam vests that help absorb any impact from a fall. However, they only protect a small portion of the body and don’t protect against potential crush. An option many eventers opt for are air vests. These vests go over the body protector and some even are compatible with show jackets to be worn in all events. In the event of a fall, the air vest deploys an airbag that inflates before ground impact.

Combining an air vest and body protector is an equestrians best defense against potential injury.

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