The global equestrian community’s response to the tragic death of an Australian young rider has been one of overwhelming support and compassion. Following on the heels of this week’s bittersweet #rideforolivia social media movement, a scholarship for young event riders has now been established in memory of Olivia Inglis.
According to Equestrian New South Wales, the Olivia Inglis Eventing Scholarship will provide emerging riders with funding to support their training and competition, with full details to be released soon.
The announcement was made at the Equestrian New South Wales annual awards dinner last night.
Alan Jones, volunteer Master of Ceremonies, said in a prelude to the announcement, “It is difficult to put words to the sentiments that people feel towards the family and it is very difficult for the young people in the room in particular to come to grips with what has happened to someone that moved amongst them.
“Olivia doing what she loved and what she did so successfully. The best way we can honor Olivia is to continue to do what you do well with the enthusiasm and commitment she showed with everything she did. We can’t change what has happened, what we can do is to determine the way we respond, we will best honor this wonderful 17-year-old girl who moved amongst us and was loved by all of us.”
The Scone Horse Trials Organizing Committee initiated the fundraising by donating the remainder of prize money from last weekend’s event to the scholarship.
Scone Horse Trials President Blair Richardson explained, “We are delighted that Equestrian NSW in conjunction with the Australian Sports Foundation will administer this fund. The scholarship will be awarded at the Equestrian NSW Annual Awards held in March each year, to help young riders in the sport of eventing. These riders can use the funding to obtain extra lessons or schooling to help them in their career over the coming years.”
He concluded the announcement with an outline of the scholarship’s objectives: “It is our sincere hope the fund will achieve four purposes: to honor an incredible and all too short life, help ease the pain we are all feeling; ensure something good comes from this tragedy; and produce a new generation of Australian Olympians.”
Equestrian New South Wales has set up a fund through the Australian Sports Foundation and donations are tax deductible. To make a donation, visit the Foundation’s website here.
A funeral service and celebration of Olivia’s life will be held on Monday, March 14, in Randwick, Sydney — details available here. The Inglis family requests in lieu of flowers that members of the community consider making a donation to the fund.