North West Wales

Tribute after Zoe Belfield, 18, dies in horse fall

Zoe Belfield, from Penrhyn Bay, Conwy, pictured on her 18th birthday, the night before she died
Image caption Zoe Belfield, pictured on her 18th birthday, rode horses most of her life

The father of a student who died after falling from a horse the day after her 18th birthday has paid tribute to his "beautiful" daughter.

Zoe Belfield, from Penrhyn Bay, Conwy, had ridden horses most of her life, and was described by her father David as a "wonderful sister" to brother Paul, 13.

Mr Belfield said it seemed like a tragic accident and the family were not looking to blame anyone.

Ms Belfield suffered a serious head injury near her home on Sunday.

The Llandrillo College A-Level student was flown to Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, but died later.

Her father David said: "We are all devastated.

"She was just such a wonderful person who was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

"She never had a bad word to say about anybody.

"I know it sounds like a cliche, but I'm proud to call her my daughter.

"She was a wonderful sister to a brother - they were really close. I can only remember them having one argument and I can not even remember what it was about."

Mr Belfield said his daughter had been riding from an early age and was on his wife Angela's horse on Sunday.

He said: "It seems what happened is the horse has bolted and she literally just fell off.

"Whether a car spooked it or not, we don't know.

"We all know the risks. Zoe knew the risks as well. There's risks to everything in life. That's the only way we can try to cope with it."

Mr Belfield said the family accepted it was a tragic accident.

He added: "You cannot go through life pointing the finger."

Mr Belfield said the horse was fine, adding: "We will probably get rid of it, but it wasn't the horse's fault."

A Welsh ambulance service spokesman said: "We were called on Sunday at 1.30pm to an incident involving an 18-year-old girl falling from a horse.

"The patient had suffered a serious, life-threatening head injury and was flown to hospital by air ambulance."

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