Hunting world pays tribute to joint-master killed in a fall

  • Tributes have poured in for the joint-master of the Cottesmore, Gems McCormick, who has died after a fall out hunting.

    Ms McCormick was hunting with the Fitzwilliam (Milton) hunt on Wednesday (4 November) when the accident happened.

    She reportedly fell after a fence and suffered a head injury.

    Gems was a supporter of Team GBR international showjumper Holly Gillott, owning Elore and having an involvement with Holly’s top horse Dougie Douglas.

    “She gave me a real leg up,” Holly told H&H.

    “I wouldn’t have done all I have in the sport without her. She didn’t have much interest in showjumping but she must have seen something in me to give it a go, and she really helped me. She was a great support to me.”

    Photographer Nico Morgan told H&H Gems was “one of the most generous and helpful people I have ever known”.

    “She was loving her hunting and it is fitting that she should pass doing what she loved most,” he added.

    Former H&H hunting editor Nicola Jane Swinney said: “I first met Gems some years ago at the PPORA lunch at Stratford.

    “Her energy and boundless enthusiasm for all things horse and hunting were infectious and we became good friends. I shall miss her verve and zest for life greatly.”

    It was the Fitzwilliam’s opening meet, and the hunt has “expressed sincere condolences” to her family.

    “We are extremely sad to hear to the death of Gems. She was a huge supporter of hunting in Leicestershire and beyond,” said a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance.

    “Hunting was a very big part of her life and she will be long missed by the Cottesmore country.”

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