Mary King’s mother, Gillian Thomson, has passed away, the event rider announced earlier this week.
Gillian passed away suddenly on Monday morning (8 January), and was discovered by her granddaughter, eventer Emily King, who had stayed with her overnight.
While not being horsey herself, Gillian was much-loved on the eventing scene and could often be spotted at competitions supporting her daughter and granddaughter.
Mary credited Gillian as enabling her to reach the top of her career in her autobiography, Mary King: The Autobiography, and in the book explains how Gillian supported her at events, driving the lorry and minding her children.
Paying tribute to her mother on Facebook, Mary said: “We had some terribly sad news yesterday. My dear mummy died peacefully at her home. It was a lovely way to go for her, but a tremendous shock for us.
"Anybody who was lucky enough to know her will agree what a selfless, kind, generous person she was.
“She was an angel to so many people, and spent her life helping others. I am so lucky to have had such an inspirational mummy.”
Emily King shared her own tribute on Instagram on Monday and said: “Today’s been a very sad day as we had to say goodbye to my utterly incredible Granny.
“She had a fall yesterday - but carried on and rang the church bells happily and did her usual verger duties. I stayed with her overnight to make sure she was ok, but this morning, only half an hour after I’d helped her to the sofa, I found her sitting there peacefully, having passed away.
“She was the most beautifully kind, selfless, humble, amazing lady I have ever had the pleasure of loving. RIP my dearest, dearest Granny, you are one of a kind, and will forever be my truest inspiration.”
The Your Horse team share fond memories of Gillian, who was a regular at Your Horse Live and was a great support to Mary at the show in 2012 when she wheeled round a barrow round full of Mary’s books and worked the crowds at Celebrity Signings.
Your Horse’s Associate Editor, Allison Lowther says: “I remember it was just after the Olympics and Gillian was there with Mary at the Celebrity Signings. She was handing round Mary’s Olympics medals for people to touch and try on.
“She was clearly very proud of her family and she’ll be much missed by all of us at Your Horse.”
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