One of the first Olympic torch bearers to set off tomorrow (19 May) will be carrying the flame in memory of her older sister – who had hoped to ride at London 2012.

Claire Heslop asked to take part in the Olympic torch relay on behalf of her sister, the late dressage rider, Jane Gregory (pictured). Jane – who rode for Britain at the Beijing and Atlanta Games in 2008 and 1996 – died following a heart attack last year.

Mrs Heslop said the relay would be a “fitting tribute“.

“The Olympics is going to be so painful for us all,” she told H&H. “We had hoped when the Games finally came to London, Jane would be riding there.”

Mrs Heslop’s route will take her through Bugle in mid-Cornwall.

“We have all Jane’s grooms, past and present, coming to watch, plus her husband [Hong Kong dressage rider Aram Gregory] and Susie Cumine, who owned Cupido, the horse who took Jane to Atlanta,” she added.

During its progression around the UK, the Olympic flame will be carried by a number of equestrians, including former Olympic eventer Jane Holderness-Roddam, who won team gold in Mexico in 1968.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (17 May 2012)