The entire equestrian community is in mourning following the tragic loss of Tiggy Hancock (15) who passed away following a fall last Wednesday (16 June).

The talented young rider from Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, was taking part in an eventing training session at Greenogue Equestrian in Rathcoole Co Dublin when she fell from her pony. The accident took place on the cross country course, where the Irish pony team were training for the upcoming pony eventing championships. Emergency services were called to the scene and rushed Tiggy to Crumlin Hospital, but she passed away from her injuries.

During her much too brief career in the saddle, the Carlow and Kilkenny Hunt Pony Club member made an impact on the equestrian industry, excelling in showing, show jumping and eventing.

For such a young rider, her list of achievements is nothing short of exceptional.

In showing, her accomplishments in both Ireland and in the UK were well documented. Some of her career highlights include winning the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) sports pony final Gold Cup at Burghley in 2018 with Corries Jack In A Box, as well as the Gold Cup 133cm working hunter pony at the BSPS championships in 2017. In 2019, Tiggy won both the 133cm and 143cm Gold Cups as well as qualifying for the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on several occasions.

Tiggy only began eventing in the autumn of 2018, but immediately made her presence felt, excelling in the sport straight off the bat.

Irish team

Following an impressive string of performances in 2019, Tiggy was selected to represent Ireland at the under-16 European eventing team championships in Poland, where she and her team mates finished third.

A respected member of the Irish pony high performance eventing programme, Tiggy impressed earlier this month in the CCI2*S in Millstreet with Coppenagh Spring Sparrow where they finished in fourth place, seeing off seasoned riders who have competed at European and world level.

As a mark of respect for Tiggy and her family, a number of equestrian events were cancelled across the country last weekend. Eventing Ireland has extended its sympathies to the Hancock family and is encouraging competitors to wear yellow at upcoming events as it was Tiggy’s favourite colour.

The Irish senior show jumping team wore yellow armbands in Tiggy’s honour during Sunday’s Nations Cup competition. German Olympian Marcus Ehning, who was Tiggy’s idol also wore a yellow armband. A minute’s silence was held before the competition. Jockeys at Royal Ascot on Saturday also wore yellow ribbons on their silks as a tribute.

Speaking last Thursday (17 June) on RTÉ News At One, acting Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) CEO Joe Reynolds said: “Tiggy had a big career ahead. She was confident, competent and so well-liked.”

Tiggy’s mother Jane shared a post on social media thanking friends and family for sharing their memories of Tiggy.

She wrote: “Please remember to look up and laugh and live through these difficult days as she would hate to see you sad.”

Tiggy’s funeral took place on Monday (21 June) in Church of the Good Shepherd, Lorum, Co Carlow.

A statement from HSI reads: “The loss of a young person is always particularly hard to comprehend. This will be a difficult time for many of Tiggy’s team mates and friends in the sport. Horse Sport Ireland has a designated support person to assist individuals affected, and would encourage them or their parents to come forward to seek support.”

To avail of this support service, please email

Irish Country Living extends its sympathies to Tiggy’s family, friends, team mates and coaches.