Fitting Way to Remember Tom Gadsby

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The winners of the Premier Stakes at the 2014 NRM Horse of the Year Show will ride off with more than just a win in a big class . . . they will also be presented with the inaugural Tom Gadsby Memorial Trophy.

It has been donated by the Gadsby family in honour of the 26-year-old rising star who was fatally injured in a fall on an eventing cross country course in the United Kingdom in August 2013.

Equestrian Sports New Zealand chief executive Jim Ellis said the Premier Stakes were a fittingly prestigious class to honour Tom given he had established himself in New Zealand as a showjumper.

Tom’s death brought an out-pouring of sadness from the international eventing world and New Zealand showjumping community and he will be sorely missed from the 2014 show. He was a talented young showjumper and eventer who was in Europe to fulfil his dream of competing as a professional event rider. He had not long landed a job with former British Olympian Tiny Clapham, and was relishing the challenges and opportunity the position presented him with.

His mother Louise said her son loved the Horse of the Year Show. His first HOY result was in 2002 when he and his pony Magenta placed fifth in a 90cm class.

Every couple of months the Gadsby family have a gathering at their home to remember a much-loved son and friend. They write messages on Chinese lanterns to send off into the night sky.

Tom’s niece loves to leave heartfelt tributes to him around Louise and husband Ian’s property – angel wings made from fairy lights or a big T made from flowers on the path.

They are all beautiful and loving reminders of a very special young man who brought joy to so many but had his time tragically cut short.

Tom is survived by his mum Louise and dad Ian, sisters Fiona and Shivon and brother Ben.

The Premier Stakes are on Saturday at 5.30pm in the Land Rover Premier Arena.