Tributes paid to rider who ‘died doing something that brought her great joy’

A woman who suffered a fatal brain injury in a fall from a horse “died doing something that brought her great joy”, her family said.

Linda Sandercock, 64, from Launceston, fell from her horse on 14 December at Hayne Cross, Lewdown in Okehampton, North Devon, and died in hospital the following day with her husband, children and grandchildren by her side.

Linda’s family has set up a Just Giving page in her memory, with all donations going to the Cornwall Air Ambulance.

In a statement, the family said: “Mum loved horses, anyone that knew her would know her passion for all things horse-related and she worked tirelessly to provide the best for us as children. As we left home and the horses at home dwindled she still was immersed in the horse world, both heavily involved in southwest and national Pony Club tetrathlon, the local agricultural show and point-to-point.

She rekindled her love of riding and died doing something that brought her great joy and freedom. Mum was to all who knew her quite possibly at her happiest and prime. She is loved by so many, and will be sorely missed. She leaves a huge hole in many hearts.

“Whilst the family are grateful for all the messages of support, we would like to request that in lieu of cards, gifts and flowers that donations are made to Cornwall Air Ambulance. Mum was a proud Cornish lady and the rural way of life was hers. Without this valuable resource we may never have had the chance to say goodbye.”

Organisers of the Launcestone Agricultural Show said on Facebook they had lost a “very special member”.

“Linda Sandercock had been involved in the show for many years and more recently our senior horse steward, putting a huge amount of time and effort into ensuring the horse section ran smoothly on show day. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Linda’s family at such a difficult time,” said a spokesman for the Launceston Agricultural Association.

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A spokesman for the Pony Club said Linda will be “greatly missed by the whole Pony Club community”.

“Linda was an ever-present smiling, kind, informative face helping in a number of roles at local, regional and the tetrathlon championships. She was also heavily involved in the popular winter triathlon series. Linda was the Area 15 &16 (South West) coordinator from Launceston and was elected to the tetrathlon committee to represent the area coordinators,” said the spokesman.

A police investigation was launched following the incident and all witnesses have been identified.

“Following enquiries, police were satisfied that there was no third party involvement into this incident and that no further policing action needs to be taken in relation to this matter, at this time,” said a spokesman for Devon & Cornwall Police.

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