THE death of a talented young horsewoman, whose family are from the Bridport area, has been greeted with grief and shock.

Friends, relatives and the equestrian community were stunned to hear of the tragic horse-riding accident which took the life of 17-year-old Ella Pallister.

Ella, from Portesham, Pallister suffered fatal injuries while taking part in a British Show Jumping Association (BSJA) contest at Kingston Maurward College near Dorchester.

She was flown by air ambulance to Southampton hospital where she died of her injuries.

Her parents Karen and Ted run the Britt Valley campsite at West Bay and Ella was a familiar figure at the Melplash Show where she took part in the showjumping classes.

Mrs Pallister is from the Northover family, and her father started the first camping site at Freshwater and ran the Gorselands site at Swyre.

Ella was studying A-levels at the Thomas Hardye school in Dorchester as well as a BTEC at Kingston Maurward College.

Her parents Pallisterppaid tribute to Ella and her love of horse riding.

“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 to Ella as Lou Lou – 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.”

Ella’s boyfriend told how the loss of his ‘gorgeous girlfriend’ has broken his heart.

Sam Edwards, 20, from the Dorchester area, said: “My gorgeous girlfriend has been robbed from me at such a young age. Words cannot describe how I am feeling at this present time.

“She was lost so quickly and in such a tragic way, that this is going to take a very long time for it to sink in. It has left me with a massive hole in my heart.

“She was such a beautiful bright and energetic person who will never be able to be replaced.

“However. in spite all of this, she died doing the thing she loved so very much.”

Ella, whose horse was Cocoon II, was a talented horsewoman who was a member of the Thomas Hardye School equestrian team.

At the end of last year she was in the school team that secured sixth place in the National School Equestrian Association’s annual show jumping finals at Addington Manor, near Milton Keynes. She was taking part in the BSJA-organised event at Kingston Maurward when the accident happened.

A BSJA spokesman said: “It is with the deepest regret that the BSJA can confirm a rider aged 17 died as a result of an injury sustained while competing at a Kingston Maurward show in Dorchester. Both BSJA and Kingston Maurward extend their condolences to the family during this difficult time.”

The news of Ella’s death came just days after another horsewoman, Fiona Vigar, was badly injured in a horseriding accident at Loders.