Tragic rider found by friends

Horse rider Samantha Cawkwell
Horse rider Samantha Cawkwell
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A professional horse rider who died after being struck on the head by one of her animals was found by two of her friends, a court has heard.

An inquest into the death of Samantha Cawkwell was opened by senior coroner Alan Wilson at Blackpool Coroners Court yesterday.

Miss Cawkwell, 31, who was a dressage rider, died on Sunday afternoon in a paddock off West Moss Lane, Ballam.

It is believed she had been out with her horses that day and suffered a fatal blow to the head, before being found by two friends who had arranged to meet her there, the court heard.

A post mortem examination has found the cause of death to have been a traumatic subdural haemorrhage – a severe head injury.

Coroner’s officer Karen Poole said: “Two friends of Samantha’s attended the stables to visit her.

“Upon arrival there were no signs of her. They looked around and called her mobile phone but couldn’t find her.

“They saw her dog in a field close by and made the decision to go in and saw Samantha on the ground and immediately called for help.

“Paramedics confirmed Samantha had died.”

Miss Cawkwell was the partner of dressage rider and trainer Andrew Hackett; the pair ran a dressage horse company together called Ultimate Dressage Horse, and lived on Cypress Point, Ansdell.

The couple met 12 years ago at a stable yard where Miss Cawkwell, the oldest of four children, used to help out.

He and Miss Cawkwell’s father, John, attended the hearing yesterday and were invited to submit any statements on what they felt had happened on the day of her death.

Mr Cawkwell has described his daughter as “an angel” who was “very talented in everything she did”.