Caroline started riding at the tender age of seven, when she realised her equestrian obsession by persuading her parents to buy her a pony. But life didn’t suddenly become a horsey dream for the youngster, as she continued her school studies until she had taken her A-levels.

Thereafter, she began working as a groom for Nottinghamshire-based dealer, Rodger Wright. It was here that she first gained competition experience, but the rides were inconsistent: every good one was snapped up by an eager buyer.

After 15 years of work with a variety of horses, Caroline emerged as an accomplished horsewoman to take a job at Tetton Hall, jumping at the opportunity to ride eventers for Dick and Frances Kinsey at their Cheshire base.

By the latter half of the 90s, Caroline was producing some seriously good results on the Kinsey’s horses, and in 2000, she recorded her first major four-star result, finishing sixth at Badminton on Primitive Control. She also completed with Kinsey Control. Her debut result at the event saw her long-listed for the Sydney Olympics.

In 2001, she focussed on three-star World Cup Qualifiers, eventually taking Primitive Control to Pau for the finals in October, where they finished 26th individually.

Last year, she came second in the Athens test event in August with Kinsey Control, and then finished seventh at Burghley with Primitive Control. Ranked 10th overall on the British Event Riders Rankings, she was long-listed for the Athens Olympics this year. As a member of the World Class Performance Squad, she benefited from training from top professionals.

“Caroline was the hardest working person I know, and a lovely person,” said fellow rider William Fox-Pitt. “Along with Caroline’s family, the eventing world will be devastated for Dick and Frances Kinsey, to whom she was a much-loved surrogate daughter; it is impossible to imagine what they must be going through.”

  • A book of condolence has been set up at www.burghley-horse.co.uk/live/bookofcondolence.asp. The book is open until midnight on 12 September, when messages will be passed to Caroline’s family.
  • A thanksgiving service will be held at St Leonard’s Church, Warmingham, Cheshire, on 15 September at 3pm. Donations should be sent to the RDA and St Leonard’s Church. Enquiries should be directed to the funeral directors, AW Burrows & Son (tel: 01270 524243)