A 16-year-old event rider has died after falling from her horse who was spooked while out on a hack.
Lucy Woolley, 16, from Chattisham, near Ipswich, Suffolk, had competed at a national level on her horse, Alfie.
She went out on Alfie for a hack on August 7 but was thrown to ground when he spooked at a passing tractor. She was taken by Air Ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge but died from her injuries the following day, despite three hours of surgery to try and save her.
Speaking to reporters, Lucy's mum Julia said: "Lucy was doing what she did every day - have breakfast, go out on a laid-back hack and then get on with the rest of her day.
"It just so happened that on that pivotal occasion they had only got ten minutes into their hack when Alfie got spooked by the vehicle. It was a fluke."The chap who was driving the tractor is a personal friend - fortunately they knew her and the horse. As soon as she had the fall, they were the ones who called the ambulance. I heard the horse come back to the stables and chased off to find her. I was there within five minutes of the fall."
Julia, who thanked emergency crews and hospital staff for their efforts and support alongside her husband Peter, said riding was Lucy's passion, and that she was a very talented rider. She was due to start studying for her A-levels in September.
"Although she was very diligent with her school work, her passion was riding. She had been riding since the age of three and had had a succession of horses and her current horse was a professional eventer horse," she said.
"She had got to the point of competing at British Eventing level – a very high level – and other people who were more expert than us were kind enough to say she was a very talented rider.
"Yes, it was a very dangerous sport and we had given a lot of thought to giving her the horse she had. We agreed that she could compete at that level and that's what she lived for."