Georgie Campbell: Husband pays tribute to 'phenomenal' British horse rider who died competing at equestrian event

The husband of a professional horse rider who died while competing in Devon has described her as "strong, beautiful, and phenomenal".

British event rider Georgie Campbell died on the fourth and final day of the Bicton International Horse Trials on 26 May.

The 36-year-old could not be saved after she and her horse Global Quest fell into water at a fence on the cross-country course, according to the website Horse and Hound.

Campbell's death was described as a "fatal accident" by governing body British Eventing.

Paying tribute in a statement on Thursday, Campbell's husband, New Zealand event rider Jesse Campbell, described her as "a strong, beautiful, phenomenal woman who just loved everything and everyone".

He shared a photo of Campbell on their wedding day in 2020, which he said was his "favourite photo of my beautiful wife".

He said: "People will talk about G's smile, and it was incredible - it would make you feel like you were the centre of the universe. But what I love about this photo is how it captures her strength."

'So proud to be your husband'

Mr Campbell said the equestrian world was "not an easy life" involving a lot of knocks and dark days, but said his wife would "navigate this by throwing so much joy and love at every situation".

"She would get as much joy from having a Greggs tea on the way home from the gallops as she would teaching a client in the pouring rain or jumping and galloping around biggest courses in the world.

"It was just incredible to be at your side and feel this energy."

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He added: "I'm so proud to be your husband. Rest in peace, my beautiful girl."

Mr Campbell ended the statement by thanking the team at Bicton for their support, and encouraged everyone who is competing this weekend to "smile at each other don't feel awkward about laughing, and above all, try and love everything and everyone".

The horse Global Quest was uninjured and was walked back to the stable after being assessed by on-site vets.

Campbell was aged two when she was taught to ride by her mother Debbie, a former GB endurance rider, in Kent and was initially a top-level showing rider before turning to eventing.

She was shortlisted for the British junior team in her teens and made her five-star debut in 2009. She quickly progressed, representing Great Britain numerous times on Nations Cup teams.

In 2010, Campbell won the prize for the highest-placed rider under 25 in the British Open at Gatcombe.