AN ESSEX horse rider who suffered a spinal injury in a fall has died, a self-penned letter published on social media has confirmed. 

Caroline March, 31, fell at the 16th fence at a cross-country event at Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market in Norfolk in April 2022.

After fracturing vertebrae, she wrote on her Instagram page she had “no feeling to my legs”.

In a later post, she wrote: “How is it one year since without a doubt the worst day of my life?

“I wish I could say it was getting easier but it’s not.”

Her death, on Saturday, was announced in a post to her Facebook page which shared a letter that she wrote.

Ms March, from Colchester, wrote that it was “not an existence I want”.

The letter was accompanied by a note explaining that Ms March “wished to leave this final post in the hopes you may gain an understanding of who she truly was and the decisions she made”.

It urged people to read her letter “with an open mind and be respectful for the sake of her family and friends”.

In the letter, Ms March said: “I’ve never understood societies’ obsession with longevity and the need to live for as long as possible.

“Alan Watts, a well-known philosopher, famously said ‘I’d rather have a short life that is full of what I love doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way’."

She also said she had felt “so much love from so many people in the last few years”, adding: “I just wish love could fix it or even make it bearable but it can’t.

“No-one can truly understand what I have to go through.

“My utmost respect for anyone who hasn’t only made a life after injury, but those that have flourished.

“I take my hat off to you, you really are inspirations but that ain’t me, I don’t want to be one.

“I never have.”

In a joint statement, British Eventing (BE) and the British Eventing Support Trust said they were saddened to learn of the death of Ms March.

“Eventing is a close-knit community and Caroline was a popular and successful member of the eventing family,” the statement said.

“Life-changing injuries are extremely difficult physically and mentally, both for the individual and those around them, and everyone handles them in their own way.

“Caroline was aware of and engaged with the help offered to BE competing members.

“British Eventing and the BE Support Trust extend their deepest sympathy to Caroline’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

If you have been affected by the contents and issues of this article, Samaritans can be contacted on their free helpline anytime on 116 123.