A vice-chairman of the British Show Horse Association has died following a fall with the Mid-Surrey Farmers Draghounds on Saturday (4 March).
Sue Webb, 64, and her horse Ron (pictured together on a different occasion) fell at the first fence of the day on Saturday.
Mrs Webb, of Vines Cross, East Sussex, was secretary of the hunt; her husband Peter is its senior master. He was not hunting on Saturday, as he was checking the course for the hunt’s point-to-point.
Mrs Webb — who was wearing a safety hat — suffered severe head and spinal injuries and died at 6pm on Sunday (5 March), when her life support machine was turned off.
“By our standards, it was a small hedge,” Mr Webb told H&H, describing it as a holly hedge of about 3’6”, in Dallington, East Sussex.
The mid-Surrey country is “demanding”, he added, but stressed that Ron, who was unharmed, was a “good horse”, who “jumped like a stag”.
Mr Webb believes the horse may have been distracted by ponies in a neighbouring field.
H&H showing reporter Tricia Johnson, a close friend of Mrs Webb, said there was no one better at crossing country.
‘You could not meet a more accomplished, all-round horsewoman,” she said. “She was never afraid to take on the biggest hedge — but with the utmost regard for her horse.
“Sue was not only an esteemed colleague and a respected judge, but great, great fun.”
Mrs Webb was a prolific showing judge, a keen gardener and a competitive and successful sailor during the summer on her brother Nigel’s yacht, describing herself as a “winch wench”, Mr Webb said.
“She was always the life and soul of a good party, intelligent and determined and did so much for other people,” he added.
Mrs Webb had been organising a side-saddle “dash” for the Southdown and Eridge point-to-point at Godstone, Surrey, on 9 April.
“It was typical of her, wanting to do things for other people,” added Mr Webb. “Not to have her name up in lights, but making a difference for other people.”
Sue Webb also leaves her parents Roy and Sheila and a son, Christopher Kenny.
By Flora Watkins