A horse rider who suffered a spinal injury has explained her decision to end her life in an emotional letter published online after her death.

Colchester's Caroline March, 31, fell at the 16th fence at a cross-country event at Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market in April 2022.

She fractured vertebrae and wrote on her Instagram page in the days afterwards that she had “no feeling to my legs”.

Her death, on Saturday, was announced in a post to her Facebook page which shared a letter that she wrote, explaining her decision to end her life.

Ms March wrote that living with the impact of the fall was “not an existence I want”.

The letter was accompanied by a note explaining that Ms March “wished to leave this final post in the hopes you may gain an understanding of who she truly was and the decisions she made”.

It urged people to read her letter “with an open mind and be respectful for the sake of her family and friends”.

In the letter, Ms March said: “I’ve never understood societies’ obsession with longevity and the need to live for as long as possible.

“Alan Watts, a well-known philosopher, famously said ‘I’d rather have a short life that is full of what I love doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way’.

“Assisted suicide is always something that I believed in and have always said, that if anything happened to me and I was forced into the predicament that I couldn’t have the quality of life that I wanted, that would be the route I’d take.

“Not going to lie, never imagined it would come to fruition but here we are.”

She said it was a “decision I’ve made which is the best route for me”, adding: “Just because you don’t agree with my decision doesn’t make what I’ve done wrong.”

Ms March said she had felt “so much love from so many people in the last few years”, adding: “I just wish love could fix it or even make it bearable but it can’t.”

In a joint statement, British Eventing (BE) and the British Eventing Support Trust said they were saddened to learn of the death of Ms March.

“Eventing is a close-knit community and Caroline was a popular and successful member of the eventing family,” the statement said.

“Life-changing injuries are extremely difficult physically and mentally, both for the individual and those around them, and everyone handles them in their own way.

“Caroline was aware of and engaged with the help offered to BE competing members.

“British Eventing and the BE Support Trust extend their deepest sympathy to Caroline’s family and friends during this difficult time.”