Coronial inquest recommendations - Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer | An Eventful Life

Coronial inquest recommendations - Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer

          A rider tribute to Olivia Inglis at Tonimbuk Horse Trials 2016



It has taken several years and much anguish at all levels within the Australian eventing community but on Friday 4th October 2019 the Coroner's Court of New South Wales handed down 31 consolidated recommendations following the inquest into the deaths of Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer

“On 30th April 2016 Caitlyn Fischer was with one of her best friends in life, her horse, Ralphie. They were competing together in the cross country phase of an eventing competition at the Sydney International Horse Trials in Horsley Park. Upon reaching a fence only 210 metres from the start of the cross country course, Caitlyn and Ralphie suffered a fall in which Caitlyn was fatally injured”

“On 6th March 2016, almost seven weeks prior to Caitlyn’s death, another talented young woman and rider, Olivia Inglis, suffered a fatal fall in similarly tragic circumstances whilst competing in an eventing competition in Scone. Olivia was 17 years old at the time”

As Caitlyn’s death raised similar broader safety issues related to the sport of eventing, a coronial investigation was also conducted. Eventually concurrent inquests into the deaths of both Olivia and Caitlyn were held. The inquests were divided into two phases. During the first phase of the inquests, evidence was taken regarding certain factual matters particular to Olivia’s and Caitlyn’s incidents. During the second phase of the inquests, evidence was taken regarding broader systemic issues related to the deaths.

At the conclusion of the inquests, separate findings were prepared and delivered. These findings should be read and understood in the two separate documents; Inquest into the death of Olivia Inglis and Inquest into the death of Caitlyn Fischer

The broader issues connected with the deaths of both Caitlyn and Olivia have been duplicated in each set of respective findings.

Inquests have a forward-thinking, preventative focus. At the end of many inquests Coroners often exercise a power, provided for by section 82 of the Act, to make recommendations. These recommendations are made, usually, to government and non-government organisations, in order to seek to address systemic issues that are highlighted and examined during the course of an inquest.

The inquiries, chaired by Deputy State Coroner Derek Lee, have resulted in 31 recommendations being put forward to improve safety and risk management at all levels within the sport of eventing

We would urge all eventing riders and parents of riders to read carefully and absorb the Coroners Reports