Inquest finds rider drowned while out hacking

  • A rider drowned while out hacking, an inquest has found.

    The inquest into the death of Sandra Underhill, of Horley, Surrey, was held at Woking Coroner’s Court on 17 August.

    Mrs Underhill was found lying unresponsive in a stream by emergency services on 7 March. Her horse was nearby.

    Surrey Police were called to an area land in Smallfield on the morning of 7 March following reports that a woman was seen not moving in a stream near the road.

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    Paramedics were also called and tried to revive the 50-year-old.

    She was then taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, and was pronounced dead a short time later.

    Assistant coroner for Surrey Dr Karin Englehart recorded an open verdict. The cause of death was found to be drowning.

    Mrs Underhill had managed stables at Brickhouse Farm in Godstone since 2009.

    She also used to judge and commentate at Oldencraig Equestrian Centre in Lingfield as well as doing the entries for showjumping and children’s shows.

    Oldencraig’s owner Ian Winfield told H&H at the time of Mrs Underhill’s death that she was “one of the loveliest ladies” he had ever met.

    “She couldn’t do enough for people and was absolutely brilliant,” he said. “Sandra was always extremely supportive to all our clients and competitors.”

    A statement on the equestrian centre’s website added that they were “devastated” to hear of the sad and tragic loss of Mrs Underhill.

    “She was always very well respected and liked and will be remembered at Oldencraig with fondness. Our condolences go to her family,” it said.

    Mrs Underhill was married and had a teenage daughter.

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