Rider dies in fall from horse

A RIDING enthusiast died of severe chest injuries after her horse bolted and she was thrown to the ground in a tragic accident by a country road.Despite desperate attempts by emergency teams and paramedics, the 46-year-old died at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, shortly after she was airlifted by helicopter from the scene of the fall in the village of Ashen on the Suffolk/Essex border.

By James Mortlock

A RIDING enthusiast died of severe chest injuries after her horse bolted and she was thrown to the ground in a tragic accident by a country road.

Despite desperate attempts by emergency teams and paramedics, the 46-year-old died at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, shortly after she was airlifted by helicopter from the scene of the fall in the village of Ashen on the Suffolk/Essex border.

Locals last night said the community had been plunged into mourning by the tragedy and that the horse rider - believed to be a married mother-of-three children - had paid the ultimate price for the hobby she loved.


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One resident from the village near Sudbury, who asked not to be named, said the sympathy of the local community was with the victim's family. “It's the three children left behind that is the most tragic thing,” he said.

However, he said such tragedies, although rare, were an accepted part of the equestrian way of life.

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“It's part and parcel of horse riding. It's often dangerous and very serious things do occur when you take part in horse riding - I suppose this is the ultimate thing really.

“People break backs and legs in falls - this is one step on from that. It's the worst thing that could happen. Horses are unpredictable and you can't second guess them, however good a rider you are.”

The accident victim was riding with a friend in Foxes Road, Ashen, at 9.25am on Tuesday when the pair stopped to talk to a tractor driver they both knew.

Police, who are appealing for witnesses to the accident, said for some reason the woman's horse bolted into a field and the rider was thrown from her animal and left critically injured on the ground.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are appealing for witnesses to the incident in Ashen which led to the tragic death of the 46-year-old local woman. She was taken by air ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital where she sadly died.”

Murray MacGregor, spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service, said a land ambulance from Suffolk was at the scene of the accident within six minutes and paramedics were swiftly able to begin assessing the rider.

He said it was quickly decided to send for the Essex Air Ambulance because of the rural nature of the area concerned and the severity of the woman's injuries.

Mr MacGregor said the air ambulance was on the scene within a few minutes and the victim was flown to Addenbrooke's in 10 minutes. However, he said: “Despite the best efforts of ambulance and hospital staff she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at hospital.”

He said the woman, who had last night not been named by police, suffered severe chest and suspected internal injuries in the fall.

The Essex coroner has been informed of the death and an inquest will be heard at a later date. Witnesses to the accident are asked to call police on 01376 330722.

james.mortlock@eadt.co.uk

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