Kerry Turkington, the Irish pony specialist and mother to Emily Turkington has died suddenly aged 45.

Kerry was a great support to the Irish pony showjumping team and helped them and her daughter Emily, 16, win team bronze and silver medals at the Pony European Championships between 2007 and 2009.

Irish High Performance Coach and pony chef d’equipe Ian Fearon said of her:

“Kerry was a guiding hand, a team player and ambassador for Ireland, who had the biggest smile for everyone.”

“She was the backbone to every competition, devoted to the squad and newcomers to the teams. We all benefited from her incredible knowledge and inspiration.”

Kerry (nee Loane) was a successful rider herself, making her name on the pony circuit in the late 1970s with great ponies such as Dr Doolittle and Duke Of Beechvale and continuing to excel with horses.

Thomas Duggan of Millstreet Horse Show added:

“I always looked up to Kerry Turkington – she was the pony rider who knew how to win. She rode great ponies and had fantastic horses on the circuit. We will miss her terribly.”