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Teen Jockey Deaths Set To Change Horse Riding Safety Forever

Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer died weeks apart in fatal horse riding accidents, now their parents hope new safety measures will prevent similar tragedies from happening again.

Both Olivia, 17 and Caitlyn, 19, were killed when the horses they were riding fell on top of them and fatally crushed them.

An inquest into their deaths wrapped up in May, with the findings delivered to Lidcombe Coroners Court on Friday.

NSW Deputy State Coroner Derek Lee delivered the findings as well as 31 recommendations following the deaths of the two young women.

Among Lee's findings was a lack of mandatory provisions regarding the presence of a medical professional at riding events.

He recommended at least one medical response team made up of two professionals be on scene at events at all times. Where possible, one member of the team should be a doctor.

Since the teens' deaths rocked Victorian and NSW horse riding communities,  Equestrian Australia (EA) has changed its rules to require a paramedic with the capacity to provide advanced life support to be present at events.

Lee found there was a lack of communication regarding the change of doctor at Caitlyn Fischer's event, which ultimately delayed the response when her accident happened. 

Lee recommended a new job be created at EA that focuses on event safety.

The parents of Caitlyn Fischer - Mark Fischer and Ailsa Carr, with the parents of Olivia Inglis - Charlotte Inglis and Arthur Inglis. Image: Supplied

The teens' families said they were happy with the findings as they spoke outside of the Coroners Court and hoped the recommendations would save other families from going through the pain of losing a loved one to the sport.

"From my perspective, the onus is now squarely on Equestrian Australia to take all of the recommendations ... to build safety standards and risk mitigation," Caitlyn's father Michael Fischer told reporters.

"We don't want any parent to have to go through what we went through. It's a journey that's nothing but painful."

Charlotte Inglis holding a photo of daughter Olivia at the Lidcombe Coroner's Court. Image: AAP Images.

The 13-day inquest into the deaths was held in May. It looked at the circumstances surrounding the two accidents and examined whether safety procedures at the events were adequate.

Olivia Inglis was killed on March 6, 2016 at the Scone Horse Trials on the NSW mid-north coast. Her horse fell after tumbling over a jump and she became trapped underneath.

She was alive in the minutes after the accident but officials called a doctor who was no longer at the event. As a result, it took 20 minutes for her to receive medical care.

Olivia's mother Charlotte told the inquest that she was unaware paramedics were no longer present at the event at the time of her daughter's accident. The single paramedic present was employed only to provide first aid and did not have any sophisticated medical equipment, rendering him powerless to save her.

Olivia tragically died at the scene.

Mark Fischer and Ailsa Carr with Charlotte Inglis and Arthur Inglis. Image: Getty Images.

Weeks later Caitlyn Fischer died instantly when a horse fell on her at the Sydney International Horse Trials on April 30, 2016.

The inquest heard from Caitlyn's mother, Ailsa Carr, who was first on the scene after the accident. Carr said she knew instantly that her daughter had died, but told the inquest the slow response to her daughter's fall demonstrated what could happen to others.

It took six minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene.

The coroner's findings come after two other jockeys died less than a month ago in more tragic cases for the sport.

Darwin jockey Melanie Tyndall, 32, died after she fell from a horse during a race and Mikaela Claridge, 22, died during a training accident at Cranbourne Racecourse in Melbourne.

READ MORE: Jockey Killed In Tragic Accident Named

  • With AAP.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au