Eden equestrian communitystunned bydeath at 44of livery owner

Date: Friday 20th October 2017
Claire Burne, who was described by her mother as “her world”.
Claire Burne, who was described by her mother as “her world”.

GLOWING tributes have been paid to Claire Burne, owner of Croft House Livery, Cliburn, who tragically died on Sunday, aged 44.

The equestrian community has been left in shock following Claire’s sudden death after she suffered a brain aneurysm on Friday and died at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, two days later.

The daughter of Margaret and the late Malcolm Burne, Claire lived at Croft House and ran the livery business alongside her mother. With her quick wit and infectious sense of humour, Claire was a very popular figure in the community.

Born on 26th September, 1973, she grew up at Ling Farm and was educated at Cliburn Primary School, followed by Bolton Primary School and Appleby Grammar School.

On leaving school she returned to work alongside her father on the family farm while also having part-time jobs at Penrith’s Hired Lad and Boots the chemist.

She later attended Carlisle College where she studied catering and was named student of the year as chef de partie, going on to work in various places in that role.

Throughout Claire’s life her first love was animals, in particular horses. Her passion had begun as a child when she had a pony on the family farm and, after a break while away from home, she reignited her love of horses in her late 20s.

Her father, Malcolm, passed away in 1997 and in 2007 Claire and her mother launched Croft House Livery together. Starting with just two stables, Claire had realised there was a gap in the market for DIY livery and the business proved such a success that there are now 20 stables.

With no advertising, the business grew through word-of-mouth, with Claire’s friendly nature and straight talking proving popular with customers.

Margaret said that despite running the business together, she and Claire never lived in each other’s pockets but were “best friends”, and she lovingly called her “my precious lass”. She described Claire as “her world” and said she was grateful for the fantastic relationship they had had.

Claire particularly loved her traditional cobs and her first, which she adored, was called Peter. She also had Billy, with which she took the in-hand reserve championship at Inglewood Equestrian Centre in spring, 2014.

Dressage was her real passion and Claire competed at many local shows on her sports horse, Kia, being placed many times. She was known for her attention to detail and would always complete her dressage tests from memory, taking the time to learn them and never relying on a caller.

She also loved her dog, Hollie the collie, which was her loyal companion.

Margaret added that since the tragedy, she had already received nearly 150 cards from friends expressing their condolences over Claire’s death — many speaking of her daughter’s down-to-earth nature and good “crack”.

Margaret also expressed her thanks to both the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, and Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, where Claire was cared for.

The funeral will be held at noon today at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Cliburn, where Claire will be laid to rest alongside her father. This will be followed by a gathering at Cliburn village hall. Donations in her memory are to be divided between St. Cuthbert’s Church and the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Arrangements are in the hands of Walker’s Funeral Directors.