A woman died from a serious head injury after falling from a horse on a beach in Wales, an inquest in Swansea heard last week (Wednesday 29 April).
Geraldine Louise Murray Jones was riding on Llangennith Beach, Swansea, when the accident happened on 27 July last year.
Swansea acting senior coroner Colin Phillips ruled her death as accidental and told the inquest it remained “unanswered” as to why the “experienced rider” fell.
The 51-year-old set off for the beach ride after 8am with her friend, Brioni Sellar, who had previously worked as a riding instructor and owned a holiday home in the area.
Mrs Jones from Fownhope, Hereford, was riding Hector, a horse with a “placid disposition”, while Ms Sellar rode a horse called Billy.
The pair had been cantering when Ms Sellar, who had been riding in front, checked over her shoulder and saw Geraldine had fallen from Hector.
A passing runner put Mrs Jones into the recovery position while Ms Sellar administered first-aid until the coastguard arrived to give assistance, the coroner said.
An air ambulance was called to the beach but Mrs Jones was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:30am.
A report from a pathologist, Dr Maurizio Brotto, gave the cause of Mrs Jones’ death as traumatic brain injury and a skull fracture.
Dr Brotto ruled out any natural cause or health reason that could have triggered Mrs Jones’ fall.
The coroner said all the riding gear had been checked thoroughly beforehand and Mrs Jones had been wearing her usual riding helmet.
“These totally unexpected deaths are extremely difficult for a family to cope with because they come out of nowhere,” he added.