Gems McCormick, Joint-Master of The Cottesmore Hunt, died yesterday in a tragic accident in Milton Park, Peterborough.
She was visiting the Fitzwilliam Hunt for their opening meet and had been riding with the owner of Milton Hall and Master of the Fitzwilliam, Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland.
As a result of a fall from her horse she was badly injured and, after lengthy attention from Air Ambulance paramedics at the scene, was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Unfortunately her injuries proved to be fatal.
Since meeting Gemma she has been nothing but a great friend to me. She has helped me in my career, both as a good customer and by recommending me to others. Indeed, at the meet yesterday, she was laughing and joking with Sir Philip about me being her "personal photographer". She even had one of our puppies, which is now enjoying life as the trusty companion of Graham Smith.
She was a lady of letters. All of her chestnut hunters were given names beginning in R. Her bays, most of which she bought for the Cottesmore Hunt Staff to ride, all had names beginning with D. Nobody really knows why.
Above all, though, she was generous. She made no fuss about it, but if there was someone in need and she could help, she would. That is how I will remember her.
RIP Gems. We will all miss you.