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Family of murdered teenage rider asks for RDA donations in her memory

The family of a horse-loving teenager who was found stabbed to death at her home have asked well-wishers to donate to her favourite charity, the Riding For The Disabled Association (RDA).

Ellie Gould, 17, died at her house in Calne, Wiltshire, on 3 May, sparking a murder inquiry.

In a tribute, her parents praised the Chippenham sixth form pupil’s “huge love for animals” and spoke of how from a young age “a pony always featured on her Christmas or birthday wish lists”.

“As her parents, we tried to get away with buying a hobby horse to run around the garden on. The pleas continued so we adopted an Exmoor pony, however due to the distance, we could only visit twice a year. Finally we decided as we lived in beautiful rural Wiltshire, we’d buy her a pony — Missy,” their statement said.

“Missy was white with a long flowing mane and tail, she looked like a unicorn when she was white, although more often than not, she looked brown as she loved rolling in mud.

“Ellie spent hours brushing her and plaiting her mane and tail. She loved showing her off at local shows in prettiest pony classes and was so proud one year to come first at Foxham show in the best family pony class.”

As Ellie grew older, she moved on to a new pony, Blackjack, who she also enjoyed competing at local events.

“Again, winters and summers she competed in local shows and cross-country events. It was nail-biting to watch as she would gallop past and fly over enormous cross-country jumps,” they recalled.

“She also spent the summer months often just herself and her beloved Blackjack hacking over Wiltshire’s beautiful countryside.”

The statement said the family wants Ellie to be remembered as a “kind, caring young lady with a wonderful, fun-loving personality”.

“Ellie’s favourite charity was RDA, which runs activities for disabled children and adults, and we ask that any donations in Ellie’s memory are made to this charity so that they can continue with their fantastic work. This is what Ellie would have wanted,” it added.

The family tribute came as Ellie’s funeral took place today (29 May) at St Mary’s Church in Calne, Wilts. Ellie’s coffin,  painted with wild, galloping horses was brought to the church in a white, horse-drawn hearse.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with her murder and will next appear in court on 6 June.

A provisional trial date has been set for 28 October.

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