A talented teenage horse rider has died after being injured in a show jumping competition at a Dorset college.
School mates lit candles yesterday in memory of Ella Pallister, aged 17, of Portesham, near Bridport. She was taking part in a British Show Jumping Association competition at Kingston Maurward College, near Dorchester, when the accident happened on Sunday.
She was taken by ambulance to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, and then flown by air ambulance to Southampton hospital where she died of her injuries on Wednesday.
She was studying A levels at Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester as well as for a BTEC at Kingston Maurward. She and her horse, Cocoon II, were part of Thomas Hardye School equestrian team.
Her parents Ted and Karen Pallister paid tribute to their daughter, and her love of horse riding.
They said: “Ella was our shining star. All she has ever wanted was to ride her ponies and win her competitions in the fastest time possible.
“Her talent became obvious from the age of two and three quarters when she entered the Bath and West Show on her little black Shetland Arlington Louise, known as Lou Lou to Ella, to her latest accomplishment at the National School Equestrian Championships at Addington when the Thomas Hardye Team came sixth.
“There is so much more to say but at the moment our loss is too great to put into words.”
At the end of last year she was in the school team which took sixth place in the National School Equestrian Association’s annual show jumping finals.
A BSJA spokesman said: “It is with the deepest regret that the BSJA can confirm a rider aged 17 has died as a result of an injury sustained while competing at a Kingston Maurward show in Dorchester on Sunday, January 27.
“Both BSJA and Kingston Maurward extend their condolences to the family during this difficult time.”
Thomas Hardye sixth formers were told of her death in special assemblies and a letter was sent home with all pupils yesterday.
Students lit candles in Ella’s honour and shared their thoughts and memories after being told of her death.
A statement from the Thomas Hardye School said: “We are devastated by the news of the tragic and sudden death of Ella Pallister.
“She was studying in Year 13 and she was a popular, bubbly, hard-working and caring student.
“Her closest friends are in shock, but the whole sixth form and school community are grieving for her loss.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with her family at this very sad time.”