Tributes have been paid to an “exceptional horse woman” who died from injuries she sustained while clipping her horse.

Mary Hancy, 55, from Norfolk was fatally injured in the accident, which happened on Sunday 11 January.

Her daughter, Kelly, told press that it was case of her being in the “wrong place at the wrong time”.

“We were just clipping at the time and it was the last horse that she had bred,” she said.

“He was only five years old and he was a bit spooked by something and kicked out and caught her.”

East Anglia Air Ambulance (EAAA) confirmed to H&H that it had attended the accident (stock image used).

“Dr Temesvari and critical care paramedic Rod Wells were called to an equestrian accident in a small village near Thetford,” a spokesman said.

“The team arrived at 12.27 to assess, treat and transfer a female in her fifties who had suffered trauma due to an equestrian accident.

“The East of England Ambulance Service was on scene, but called on EAAA after the patient rapidly deteriorated.

“The patient had suffered injury to the head and abdomen.”

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The EAAA crew flew Mrs Hancy to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge in a critical condition. She later died of her injuries. An inquest has now been opened into her death.

“She had dedicated her whole life to horses,” her daughter added.

“She was very passionate about breeding Hanoverian and German warmbloods for many years and had helped run a riding school and stud with her very close friends Howard and Valerie Rose.

“She was always a familiar and friendly face at local showjumping competitions.”

  • River P

    Oooops. At least she was busy doing what she loves best.

  • James Barclay-Smith

    To be honest, Bill, after reading all of your posts on this very tragic subject, I doubt very much if you had a ‘freak’ accident, be it by one of your ‘oh so superbly trained machines, sorry horses, or by airplane’ that anyone would care.

  • Marian Figley

    Bill, I work with horses every day, and have for many, many years. I’m a hoof care professional. You know what one of most popular sayings in the hoof care world is? It’s not going to be the crazy, untrained, whack job of a horse that kills you, it’s going to be old Dobbin, who you’ve trimmed a hundred times and wouldn’t hurt a fly. All it takes is one spook, one jump, one kick, and you’re dead. Yes, even superiorly trained horses (I know, I have several of them) will sometimes jump and kick. My son (who is also a hoof care professional) was kicked in the back by a horse he was trimming. The horse had never EVER offered to kick, and was then and is still now very, very well trained. But a tractor dumped a pallet load of something with a loud bang, the horse jumped and kicked out, and got my son right in the middle of the back. We’re extremely lucky it wasn’t something more serious. Another thing that can happen with young horses is stifle issues. And yes, a 5 year old is still a very young horse mentally. I was trimming a 3 year old and his stifle locked. This had never happened with him before, and before I could even figure out it was happening, he’d kicked out with all the force he had. I didn’t even see the kick, and I’m unbelievably lucky, because I just ended up with a bleeding ear instead of my head being knocked off.

    You sound very, very self righteous. Accidents happen. Horses are unpredictable, even when extremely well trained. I just hope you don’t find out the hard way just how extremely unpredictable they can be. And personally, having worked with, trained, and trimmed for just as many years as you say you have, I would never, ever work with someone who says they can eliminate any kicking behavior. Just .. wow.

  • Bill Baehr

    Ok, I will get off this post. I did not point any “finger of blame”. Please, forgive my interest in safety.

  • John Shyrurr

    I am sorry you are hurt. I wish you the best.

  • Tash

    Keep on digging at me by all means and continue to make both you and your friend look bad whilst failing to address points made. Really just spoiling for a fight aren’t you? Total and utter lack of respect. I’m still waiting for you to enlighten us all on how you train horses to behave like machines rather than living animals but I suppose I’ll be waiting a while.

  • John Shyrurr

    More sympathy for idiots might be wise since you do things like comment on material you haven’t even read. That is woefully ignorant.

  • Tash

    Fair point. No I hadn’t fully read that article. I heard about the accident elsewhere and when I heard of it it was simply a ‘clipping accident’. My point still remains that without knowing the persons, the animal and the circumstances I fail to see how you can so confidently say you could prevent it from happening. Quite frankly you are talking rubbish as is your friend. Nothing is this world is a certainty, you can minimise risk but unfortunately accidents happen and sometimes there is nothing you can do about that.

    Why would I show compassion to idiots? There is no excuse for idiocity and ignorance I’m afraid.

  • Emma Herring

    The answer is ‘less likely to spook’ it doesn’t mean it will never spook. Seriously Bill, everyone has heard your argument over and over. Perhaps now you could get off this post stop banging on with your view and let Marys family grieve without people like yourself pointing the finger of blame. As I stated yesterday an inquest will be held as with all accidents so until that’s been carried out all you can do is continue speculating the ifs and maybes and causing unnecessary grief to a family who have just lost a very loved and respected family member.

  • John Shyrurr

    “He was only five years old and he was a bit spooked by something and kicked out and caught her.”

    Have you read the article? Perhaps you should be more compassionate towards idiots.

  • Tash

    I’m far from anti learning. I am however anti-idiot.

    You claim to be able to irradicate any kicking behaviour in any situation. Would love to hear your methods. What you have failed to realise is no one has even said the horse in question kicked out or how the accident came about so by trying to say the victim was somehow to blame without knowing the individual, the horse or the set of circumstances involved is just disrespectful and ridiculous.

  • John Schairer

    It is sad that people don’t want to learn to avoid accidents. I have conducted training with Mr. Baehr on this behavioral issue specifically and we have completely removed all kicking behavior. It is is possible if you are a competent trainer like Mr. Baehr is. I would be happy to share some techniques if you adjust your anti-learning and stubborn attitude.

  • Bill Baehr

    You know so little about horses. Horses are a precocious species and a 5 year old horse is no baby. The deceased may have been very knowledgeable and experienced and still could have made a mistake in training and handling her horse. The diceased may have made no mistakes and it was a totally unavoidable death. All we can do is guess. Your experienced guess says she did everything right and it was just a freak accident. My experienced guess says she must have did something wrong because horses are very safe if trained and handled properly. Your view is hopeless. My view is hopeful.

  • Bill Baehr

    Maybe it was unavoidable maybe it wasn’t, with your attitude we will never know. Horses are unpredictable to those that don’t know them or pretend to know them. Once you know horses and how they behave their behavior is very predictable. Your point is shocking in that you cannot understand an analogy between a horse and an airplane.

  • Bill Baehr

    A lady has died an I am interested in finding out why so that we may all learn to be safer. An untrained or improperly trained horse is more likely to lose its mind and spook at times. A properly trained horse is less likely to spook and injure or kill someone.

  • Tash

    Best you start avoiding horses then, because like anything in life accidents happen. Horses get spooked. They react lighting fast and if you happen to be in the way of a scared horse then sorry, but unless you are superhuman there’s not a lot you can do to avoid that.

    Me and ‘my ilk’ understand that horses are animals, with minds of their own and whilst they can be trained to work with you and you can minimise the risk of accidents we understand that they do happen. My ilk also understand that a horse is not a mechanical object like an airplane, which quite frankly, tells me all I need to know about the horses you deal with and the training you dish out if this is what your horses become.

  • Tamara

    First of all,
    Sally, I am so sorry for your loss and my thaughts are with your self, family and friends.
    Bill, to say you have worked with horses for ‘X’ amount of years, you sound very quick to deny horses are unpredictable, not all horses are bob cobs, the lady in question worked with warmbloods, known for their lightening quick ability.
    ‘What if a plane crashed with a very experienced pilot and the crash was just dismissed as unpredictable’
    Your point is shocking, you cannot question a animal against a machine.
    Also, who is to say the accent was due to clipping? Anything could of happended to make the horse kick out, may of times I’ve had my horse spook, kick out, jump of all 4’s due to loud bangs out of my control, horses having a moment in the paddock ect.
    Now I’m pretty sure, with the lady working with horses for so many years, breeding, backing, teaching, if anybody could spot a issue, this lady could.
    Again my deepest sympathy to the family.

  • Bill Baehr

    I sure do deal with horses for a living and for fun. I have 20 years experience with mounted fox hunting, 20 years ranch work, and 40 years training horses of various breeds including off the track TBs. All of this done safely. Horses do spook and can certainly be trained to spook less and be under great control.. People can also be trained to read a horse’s behavior in order to stay as safe as possible and learn how to handle spooking without dying or injury. A horse can be trained to be as controllable, safe and testable as an airplane. Perhaps you and you ilk don’t know how to safefly train horses, but it can be done. I may be an ignorant fool as you have unfairly labeled me, (it’s call an ad hominem fallacy) but my ignorant foolishness has kept me and others safe when dealing with horses. If a well known, lifetime experienced horse handler dies when handling doesn’t it just make sense to try to understand what went wrong so others may learn from any errors that may have been avoidable? Perhaps there were no errors and it was just bad luck? We will never know unless we find out what really happened to cause this death. If I thought that horses were so unpredictable that I could be killed by some random spook, I would avoid horses completely. I know that horses are not that unpredictable.

  • Emma

    Bill, do one! No one is interested in your opinion. My thoughts go out to all those involved.

  • Emma Herring

    You clearly have no regard for your family or anyone else’s. I pray you find a conscience and leave this post and let Marys family grieve without trolls like you.

  • Bill Baehr

    I pray that my leaving my original comment posted will result in interest in the inquiry and interest that this death be investigated so that this death will not be forgotten as just another “freak” horse accident, but be learned from in order to save others. When I get killed by a horse or airplane or whatever, I hope that my death will not be just be forgotten as another “freak” but be learned from to help others. If I made the error resulting in my death and others are saved by learning from it; I have not died in vain. Will my pride or my family’s pride be hurt if my death results from my error? Who cares?

  • Tash

    Have you ever actually dealt with horses? They do things without meaning to, they aren’t aware that what they do may cause harm. Horses are flight animals, they react if spooked for whatever reason and the only horses I’ve ever met that don’t react are ones that have had their spirit completely crushed by poor handling. Comparing a horse, a living creature with a.mind of its own to an airplane is quite frankly laughable and shows you up as the ignorant fool you are.

  • Emma Herring

    That is why there is an inquest as with all accidents. And I find it hard to believe you feel for the family given your original comment. If you had any compassion at all you would remove your comments

  • Bill Baehr

    I respect the family’s grief. This death grieves me and I pray that the family and others involve will share anything that can be learned from this death so that no one else will needlessly die. Perhaps it was totally unavoidable; but what if there is something that could have be done to avoid this death? Wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t the deceased want you to know?

  • Emma Herring

    Your comment was not worded as concerned only pointing the finger. Have some respect for the family.

  • Emma Herring

    Quite honestly Bill your comments are disrespectful. You do not know the family or the fact they have all been involved with horses since most of them could walk. Accidents do happen and no one asked for this to be covered in the papers and having been in a car accident where my mother died I know how intrusive the media can be. Let’s not forget that a family are grieving. Something you SHOULD be respectful of regardless of your opinion on the matter

  • Bill Baehr

    Let’s all agree to respect the dead of all accidents and never look for operator error.

  • Bill Baehr

    Forgive me for being concerned about learning from this sad experience in order to improve human and horse safety and maybe just enable knowledge that will result in someone else not dying the same way.
    Why are human deaths with horses always called freak accidents? Are such deaths ever the result of human error?

  • Bill Baehr

    I did not speak badly of the dead. Horses can be trained to not kick out. Horses that are properly trained to be clipped are not unpredictable. If you know what you are doing and know how to read a horse you will know when a kick is coming. I hope the family does read my post and will honestly investigate this accident and help others to learn how to avoid such an accident. What if a plane crashed with a very experienced pilot and the crash was just dismissed as unpredictable? Aviation safety would never have improved.

  • Emma Herring

    Well said Sal. How dare anyone speculate, so disrespectful to you all.

  • Sally Reeve

    To Bill Baehr and Nicole…how dare you suggest if the horse in question involved with the horrendous accident had been correctly trained? A horse is an animal , they are not machines, even the best horse of any age and any disposition can act or react out of character at any time . This was a freek accident . Reported by all forms of the meadia from the local radio , newpapers to national news and articles including this . Details given are not always 100% correct. I am sure you would “Want to know more” ,, because it is thats probably the sort of thing jerks like you thrive on . Mrs Hancy had handled horses for most of her life , clipped, broke, schooled , and taught people to ride ranging from basics to top class showjumping . In the past she was also heavily involved in stud work with both Stallions, Mares and the foals. We all know the risks we take even being around horses , but its accidents such as this that brings the harsh reality home to you of what could happen. It is the ignorant remarks such as you have made that shows total disrespect for the victim and their family. I do hope that you never have to experience anything such as this because I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enimies what we are going through right now . (Sister to Mrs Hancy )

  • Tamara

    Horses are unpredictable animals, no amount of training can stop a animal kicking out.
    My horse is clipped twice a year from being 2yo on the racing yard and I still ensure I am able to move out of the way if needed.
    we work with animals with a mind of their own, unfortunately accidents happen.
    I hope the family don’t read your post.
    Shame on you speaking badly of the dead.

  • Nicole

    My thoughts exactly, Bill. It is possible that it wasn’t anything to do with the clipping which spooked him, of course, but it’s much more likely that they hadn’t taken the time to really get him used to the clippers and she was putting too much pressure on him with not enough release.

  • Bill Baehr

    It sounds like the horse was not properly trained for handling and clipping. “Kicking out” behavior when “a bit spooked” is highly unusual for a properly trained horse, even a five year old. I would like to know how the horse had been trained or not trained to be comfortable with clipping. I would like to know more details of what happened. What was the “spook”? I hope this death and the behaviors that led up to it will be carefully examined so that others can learn from any mistakes and avoid death from clipping a horse

  • Bill Baehr

    It sounds like the horse was not properly trained for handling and clipping. “Kicking out” behavior when “a bit spooked” is highly unusual for a properly trained horse, even a five year old. I would like know how the horse had been trained or not trained to be comfortable with clipping. I would like to know more details of what happened. What was the “spook”? I hope this death and the behaviors that led up to it will be carefully examined so that others can learn from any mistakes and avoid death from clipping a horse.