A young rider who “lived for” eventing has died, following a freak fall out hacking near her home in Suffolk.

Lucinda Woolley, 16, known as Lucy, suffered serious injuries when her horse, Alfie, was spooked by a tractor last Wednesday (7 August).

She was flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but, despite 3hr of surgery, died from her injuries the next day.

Lucy, a British Eventing (BE) member, had competed up to open novice under-18 level. She was a member of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt branch of the Pony Club and had attended a recent eventing camp at Milton Keynes.

“Although she was very diligent with her schoolwork, her passion was riding,” said Lucy’s mother Julia.

“Other people who were more expert than us were kind enough to say she was a very talented rider.

“She loved her riding, but was uncertain about it as a career.”

Mrs Woolley described the accident as “a fluke”.

She said: “On Wednesday morning she was doing what she did every day — have breakfast, go out on a laid-back hack and then get on with the rest of her day.

“They had only got 10min into their hack when Alfie got spooked by the vehicle — it was a fluke.

“The chap who was driving the tractor is a personal friend. Fortunately they knew her and the horse. They were the ones who called the ambulance.”

Lucy was due to start studying for her A Levels at Ipswich School in September.

BE’s chief executive, Mike Etherington-Smith said he was “deeply saddened” to hear about Lucy’s “tragic death”.

“Despite being quite a new BE member, she had already proven to be an accomplished young horsewoman with very consistent eventing form.

He added: “The eventing community is a close-knit family and will be deeply shaken by her loss.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this terribly sad time.”