The death of South Korean equestrian rider Kim Hyung-chil brings home all the risks and dangers involved in the sport - and a timely reminder with Hong Kong due to stage the 2008 Beijing Olympics equestrian events. Kim, an experienced rider who had taken part in two Olympics and also the last Asian Games in Pusan, was taking part in the individual cross-country competition when his horse, Bundaberg Black, failed to clear a jump and cartwheeled over. Kim was thrown out of his saddle, and, tragically, the horse fell on him. A tonne of horse fell on 'his head, neck and upper chest' - as described by the medical authorities in Doha. Despite the immediate attention of medical staff, who are stationed at every obstacle, Kim failed to respond to their desperate attempts at resuscitation. Kim's death could serve as a lesson for the future. The Hong Kong Equestrian Company, which is in charge of staging the 2008 Olympic carnival, should pay close attention to the outcome of the investigation into this incident which was carried out by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). In the heat of the shocking accident, Korean Olympic officials were quick to demand a probe to determine whether the eventing competition, held in pouring rain, was properly run or if there was mismanagement. 'We want to know if it was the rain or mismanagement of the competition,' said Kim Jung-kil, president of the Korean Olympic Committee. 'We have questions and doubts over the schedule being too tight and that possibly the horse was fatigued. The games organising committee and the Asian equestrian federation should look into this matter.' Officials insisted the course was not dangerous. Oliver Holberg of Germany, the man who is also the footing expert for the Hong Kong Olympic course, had passed the course as suitable for competition. FEI officials said this was the first time a death had occurred at the Asian Games. FEI vice-president Chris Hodson admitted the death would inevitably raise questions once again about the future of equestrian as an Olympic sport, but expressed confidence its standing would not be affected. 'It's not just activists concerned about this. It's all of us in the equestrian community,' he said of injuries to riders and horses. 'I'm absolutely confident equestrian and eventing will continue and we will discover there are lessons to be learned from this.' A study undertaken in Australia some years ago revealed the cross-country phase of an equestrian event is 70 times as dangerous as horse riding in general. Animal activists also say if a rider wants to risk his life that is fine, but a horse, with little choice, shouldn't be put through this test. They charge that the jumps in the Olympics (both cross-country and show-jumping) are set too high, and that horses aren't meant to jump that high. But officials say the jump was safe. Their view is that Bundaberg Black got too close to the jump before taking off, resulting in a somersault type of fall with the full weight of the horse landing on Kim. They say he probably died on impact. 'Neither the weather nor the footing had any bearing on this accident,' said Andy Griffiths, eventing technical delegate. 'No blame can be assigned to any individual factor. This is just a tragic accident that happens in our sport from time to time.' Kim's death will hammer home the point of the inherent dangers of the sport. As such, it is paramount that riders and horses at the 2008 Olympic equestrian events be given every guarantee that outside forces don't come into the picture and make their sport even more dangerous. Number of the Day: 1.08 The height of the jump, in metres, which Bundaberg Black failed to hurdle. It was one of the smallest on the course - a straightforward ascending fence which was considered relatively easy.