Northern Ireland

Police officer dies in Ballygowan riding incident

Constable Claire Lowe, 39, died on Wednesday on the Moss Road near Ballygowan. Image copyright Photo courtesy of Victoria oc Photography
Image caption Constable Claire Lowe, 39, died on Wednesday on the Moss Road near Ballygowan

Tributes have been paid to a police officer from Saintfield who died after she came off her horse.

Constable Claire Lowe, 39, died on Wednesday on the Moss Road near Ballygowan.

She is believed to have been riding with a local hunt.

The incident has been described as a "freak hunting accident", although the cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City District Commander Supt Sean Wright paid tribute to an experienced and professional police officer with six years' service, who "was in the prime of her life".

"We all knew of her love for horses and for her sport but we also knew her for being a committed police officer who found challenge and reward in serving the local community and in keeping people safe," he said.

"She will be very much missed by all of us and her loss will be deeply felt for a long time to come.

"Our thoughts are with Claire's family and friends at this tragic and difficult time," he added.

Image caption Constable Lowe is believed to have been riding with a local hunt when the incident happened on the Moss Road