A 28 year old woman has died falling from her horse, which spooked violently out hacking – throwing her on to the road.

Janette Smith, of Wellingborough, was killed just after 11am on Saturday morning (18 February).

She was riding with a friend between the villages of Overstone and Sywell when both horses were spooked – possibly by the wind.

Ms Smith fell and landed on the road. She was pronounced dead at the scene, due to serious head injuries.

Northamptonshire Police said they were treating the case as a “tragic accident”. No vehicles were involved.

Roland Smith, of Whistlefield Stables, Overstone, told local press that Ms Smith was a competent rider.

Mr Smith – who is not thought to be a relation – said: “She was always dressed in the correct high-vis gear and safety equipment, so it’s just very unfortunate.”

It is thought that her hat may have come off before she landed on the road.

Mr Smith said: “I’ve heard from the other rider that both the horses were suddenly spooked, and she doesn’t know why.

“The other rider got her horse under control, but the victim’s horse bolted and bucked, throwing her off. Her helmet came off as she fell .”