Dressage rider Samantha Cawkwell has died after being kicked by a horse.

Samantha was found dead in a paddock at her home near Lytham St Annes in Lancashire on Sunday (19 July).

The 31-year-old had suffered a blow to the head and neck, thought to be sustained by a kick from a horse.

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Paramedics were called and she was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Lancashire Police have said they were called at around 4.40pm and that her death is not being treated as suspicious.

Her step mother Elaine wrote on Facebook yesterday (Monday 20 July): “Thank you for all your lovely messages and calls. Sadly I’m too heartbrokenly devastated to reply.

“Sam was found dead in the field yesterday afternoon. She had been kicked by the horse sustaining severe head and neck injuries. Our lives will never be the same losing such an angel.”

Sam and her partner Andrew Hackett, also a dressage rider, ran company Ultimate Dressage Horse together.

Four pages of tributes were left on the H&H forum.

Mandi and Hannah wrote: “When I first heard of Sam it was through my dear long time friend Elaine Cawkwell back in the 1990s. Sam was a mere child riding loan ponies from a yard near Blackpool. It wasn’t long before Elaine got Sam a beautiful section D who she competed regularly and was a success in the show ring and dressage arena winning almost everything they entered. Elaine encouraged Sam and when Sam got Charlie a beautiful WB her talents and horsemanship came out in full force.

“I am so proud that I was allowed to know Sam and even though tiny, share a little in her life.

“Reading today’s tributes on Facebook reminded me of her wickedly funny sense of humour, her love for her family and friends and her dedication to her sport and the horses she loved so dearly.”