Tributes paid to man who died after falling off horse near Market Harborough

Will Graham
Will Graham

A huntsman who died after a fall from his horse while out with the Fernie Hunt, near Market Harborough, has been named.

Will Graham (54), an investment banker and company director was declared dead at the scene of the tragic accident.

Will Graham

Will Graham

A spokesman for the Fernie Hunt, which is based in Great Bowden, near Market Harborough, told the Mail “everyone is devastated”.

The emergency services were called at 2.15pm on Wednesday, January 31, to a field off Mowsley Road, Saddington, about seven miles north-west of Market Harborough.

Mr Graham had fallen from his dark bay horse as he jumped a timber fence mid-way between Saddington and Mowsley villages. The horse was not injured in the fall.

Leicestershire Police confirmed last week that the death is not being treated as suspicious.

An inquest into Mr Graham’s death was opened in Leicester on Monday, before Assistant Coroner Dr Christina Swann.

Although born in Scotland, Mr Graham had lived near Market Harborough for many years. He leaves a wife, Lucy, and their nine-year-old daughter, with two older children from a previous marriage.

Philip Cowen, joint-master of the Fernie Hunt commented: “Will’s tragic death whilst out hunting with the Fernie last week has stunned and shocked us all.

"Sadly, he died when his horse fell on top of him at a fence which has been jumped on numerous occasions previously, close to Saddington village.

"There are no words to describe such a devastating loss particularly for his family, but also a great many other people in the locality who knew him so well. Our hearts and thoughts go out to them all at such a sad time.

"Will was a constant source of energy, passion, enthusiasm and determination in whatever he turned his hand to – whether in his line of business, when on the sportsfield or when relaxing at home. His loss to our community is immeasurable.”

Last Saturday. February 3, many people who are connected with hunting in Leicestershire and further afield came together for a special day’s hunting which was dedicated to Mr Graham. It took place near Hallaton.

Philip Cowen said: "There is an incredible bond which runs throughout those who are involved with the hunt, whether as riders, followers or supporters and the moving tributes on that day will last long in all our memories.

"Will was a true gentleman and we all owe him so much for a life which has been cut short far too soon.”

Mr Graham is described as "an accomplished and very competent rider" who has followed the Fernie hounds for about 15 years.

Polly Portwin, from the Countryside Alliance, said: “We were sorry to learn of the tragic events of last Wednesday.

"Will was a great supporter and representative of the Alliance and we extend our deepest sympathies to Lucy, their family and all those closest to them.”

Chris Parker, also a joint-master of the Fernie Hunt commented: “Sadly Will lost his life whilst enjoying a sport that he loved, and to which he has been a huge contributor both directly and behind the scenes for many years.

"He was clearly enjoying himself on the day in question right up to the moment that this dreadful accident occurred.

"Words do not adequately convey our emotions, or the degree of sympathy which we all feel for his wife, daughter and their wider family.

"He will be greatly missed by all his friends in not only the hunting world but from many other aspects of life as well. He was also a hugely successful businessman, and he particularly enjoyed both skiing and sailing.”