Tribute to woman killed in horse tragedy

A GRIEVING husband last night told of the unbearable loss of his wife who was killed in a riding tragedy close to the family home.Gillian Hackshall was a vastly experienced horse rider and hunt enthusiast who first took to the saddle as a child.

A GRIEVING husband last night told of the unbearable loss of his wife who was killed in a riding tragedy close to the family home.

Gillian Hackshall was a vastly experienced horse rider and hunt enthusiast who first took to the saddle as a child.

On Tuesday morning, the 46-year-old was riding with a friend in Foxes Road, Ashen, between Haverhill and Sudbury, when her horse bolted into a field, throwing Mrs Hackshall to the ground.

She later died of multiple injuries at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after being airlifted there by helicopter.


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The hunting and riding community has been left shocked and saddened by the death of the mother-of-three, from The Street, Ashen, and a minute's silence was held in her honour by the Thurlow Hunt yesterday.

Her devoted husband, Colin, told how he and their three children - Stephen, 17, Catherine, 14, and 12-year-old Nicola - had lost “a great wife and an excellent mother”.

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The family have been inundated by telephone calls and cards of condolence.

Mr Hackshall, 49, said: “She was a great wife. We have been together 27 years in courting and marriage and I shall sadly miss her. She was an excellent mother and she always took our daughters to the Pony Club events.

“We are trying to do normal things, we've just got to carry on. She always fully partook in supporting village life. If there was something going on in the village, we have always tried to support it.”

He told how he and his wife moved to Ashen 15 years ago because of their shared passion of the outdoors.

“The whole family is passionate about riding. We loved the country way of life, we loved the peace and quiet and the country events,” he said.

“She worked two days so the rest of her time was spent with horses and looking after the family. We've had lovely letters from people both near and far away.”

The family owns six horses and three dogs at their detached home in the Suffolk countryside. Mrs Hackshall worked as a part-time physiotherapist at the Clare Physiotherapy Centre.

Her funeral will be held at the village church in Ashen at 2pm next Friday.

Mr Hackshall, who has requested family flowers only and donations to the Essex Air Ambulance, said a public address system would be set up so that attendees unable to find space in the church will be able to hear the service outside.

laurence.cawley@eadt.co.uk

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