Sherelle Duke, one of Northern Ireland’s best known event riders, was killed in a tragic accident at Brockenhurst Park horse trials this weekend.

Former World Young Rider champion Duke, 28, from Portadown in Co Armagh was fatally injured when her horse fell on her while competing in the advanced cross-country on Sunday afternoon. A statement from British Eventing says: “It is with deepest regret that we announce that Miss Sherelle Duke died as a result of a fatal accident while competing at Brockenhurst One Day Event in Hampshire on Sunday 20th August”.

Eventing Ireland and the EFI have issued a joint statement offering their condolenscences to Sherelle Duke’s family: “Our deepest sympathy is expressed to Sherelle’s family; parents Ronnie and Miriam, sister Sonya and brothers Michael and Peter.

“Sherelle was a thorough professional in her preparation for the challenges of the sport, leaving nothing to chance. This professionalism led her to an individual gold medal in the 1999 Young Rider World Championships.”

Duke was a member of the Irish team in the 2003 European Championships and had been competing Glenbuck, Ballystockart and Art Attack at advanced level this season, finishing 11th at Gatcombe earlier this month on Ballystockart.