Claire was the youngest of our family, the baby, and as such held a very special place in all our hearts. She was indulged by her elder brother and sisters, adored and spoiled by her grandparents, deeply treasured and loved by all of us. As the youngest of four children she quickly picked up the confidence and wisdom that made her so popular. She was generous, kind and thoughtful, and although she was very academic at school it was in a natural sort of way which helped her to sail through exams with effortless ease.
She always had an affinity with animals from a very young age and had the usual goldfish, rabbits and hamsters before getting her dog. She was active in a local livery yard, mucking out and cleaning tack in return for the occasional pony ride. Eventually she had her own pony when she was about nine years old. She proved to be a fearless rider and won many trophies, cups and rosettes at the local gymkhana and cross country events. In her teenage years she became interested in environmental and green issues and after passing four 'A' levels went off to university to read law with the intent of becoming a specialist environmental lawyer.
Towards the end of the Christmas holiday, just before going back to university for her final term in 1992,Claire and her brother, with her dog, were returning from walking the dog after seeing the horses. They were walking down the lane where we live, 200 yards from home, when they were all hit by a driver in a Mitsubishi Shogun fitted with steel bull bars. Claire was killed outright. She was 20 years old.