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The mother of Olympic eventer Karen Dixon, Elaine Straker, has died aged 86.

Elaine was brought up in the Tees Valley, rode from an early age and was a point-to-point jockey before she turned her attention to her children’s riding careers.

Three of Elaine’s five children competed at Badminton — two at the age of just 18, including Karen.

“Her courage, determination and exceptional eye for a horse, underpinned [our] riding ambitions,” said Elaine’s son Matthew.

Elaine also bred Lucinda Green’s 1977 Badminton and European Championships  winner George, whom Matthew rode round Badminton in 1973 and 1974.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (6 June 2013)