Tributes have been paid to Sheila Baigent, née Barnes, one of the first women to ride in the Hickstead Derby, who has died aged 68 following a long illness.

Born into a hunting and showjumping family in Hampshire, Sheila won the young showjumper title at Horse of the Year Show in 1958 on her 13.2hh pony Baccarat.

She was junior European champion on Solo in 1961 and two years later came fourth in the Hickstead Derby on Sudden.

Sheila became a British Showjumping judge and was still judging until September.

She leaves her husband John, daughters Fiona and Sarah and grandchildren Tom, Katie and Georgina.

Delivering the eulogy at a thanksgiving service, her friend Giles Rowsell described Sheila as “a true example of the saying carpe diem — seize the day”.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (6 December 2012)