Inspirational Norfolk woman killed in horse-riding accident left a legacy of life

Caroline Harvey, 40, who tragically died in a horse-riding accident on March 1, 2014. Caroline Harvey, 40, who tragically died in a horse-riding accident on March 1, 2014.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
12:01 PM

An “inspirational” woman killed in a tragic horse-riding accident left a legacy of life, her heartbroken mother has said.

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Caroline Harvey, 40, who tragically died in a horse-riding accident on March 1, 2014.Caroline Harvey, 40, who tragically died in a horse-riding accident on March 1, 2014.

Norfolk-born Caroline Harvey, 40, fell and broke her neck when her horse Oscar was jumping a fence on a drag hunt.

She was taken to hospital by air ambulance, but died a week later on March 1 after developing a chest infection.

Her mother Ruth Harvey, 66, said she took some comfort from the fact Caroline was an organ donor and three people underwent potentially life-saving transplant operations as a result.

Ruth said: “It was a tragic accident and we didn’t want to lose her, but she was doing what she loved.

“We couldn’t have stopped her doing what she did.

“She was very well loved and an inspiration to a lot of people.”

A lifelong fan of equestrian sport, Mrs Harvey first took lessons as a three-year-old and bought her own horse as soon as she could afford to - taking part in dressage and hunts ever since.

She grew up in Flordon, near Newton Flotman, and was a pupil at Hapton Primary School before her family moved to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.

She was the youngest of 17 grandchildren.

Many of her relatives and friends still live in Norfolk, and Mrs Harvey regularly holidayed at Wells-next-the-Sea.

She went to university in Chelmsford, Essex, before embarking on a high-flying career as a manager in IT companies.

A popular woman, Mrs Harvey had married her fiance Paul Parry just eight months earlier.

They had been together for around a decade, and had just bought a holiday home in France.

Ruth said: “I’ve had personally more than 80 cards and her husband has had a similar number.

“We’ve had so many tributes it’s been amazing.

“As she didn’t have children of her own she spent a lot of time helping other people, and that’s a comfort to us.

“She continues to do so as her organs have been donated to three other people.”

She added her daughter was “very well thought of” at work and her bosses gave an “absolutely glowing” account of her.

Her funeral, which was attended by more than 500 people, was held in Melton Mowbray on March 14.

There was a horse and carriage as part of the cortege.

Mrs Harvey had been riding on a drag hunt with Readyfield Bloodhounds in Lincolnshire when the accident happened on February 23.

Emergency services were called after she fell, and the air ambulance was on scene within 15 minutes to take her to Coventry hospital.

But her mother said she had no sensation from the neck down.

“It happened on the Sunday and on the Monday we had some communication with her for which we’re very grateful,” she added. “But after that she developed a chest infection and had to have some surgery in her neck, and didn’t survive that.

“We certainly communicated. She couldn’t speak, but she knew we were there and what we were saying.”

She is suvived by her mother Ruth, father Michael, 68, brother Kevin, 42, and many more family and friends.

Her family is collecting for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance and more than £3,500 has been raised so far.

See www.justgiving.com/carolineharvey2014

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