A mother-of-two died after being kicked by her horse as she walked it in a field, a court has heard. 

Susan Morris, 61, suffered "catastrophic injuries" and multiple fractures when the animal, Peg, struck her in the chest.

An inquest into her death heard that there were no witnesses to the incident, in a field in Mulbarton, but that a number of locals saw Ms Morris lying on the ground and called the emergency services.

Norwich Evening News: The incident happened at a field in MulbartonThe incident happened at a field in Mulbarton (Image: Newsquest)

Four medic crews - including those from the air ambulance - attempted to save the former midwife's life, but she died at the scene from a cardiac arrest brought on by blunt force trauma. 

She was surrounded by friends at the time of her death.

Her two children, Claire Barnard and Matthew Morris, had tried to reach Mulbarton after being notified of the accident. 

But the pair were caught in traffic and Ms Morris died before they arrived.



Originally from West Sussex, Ms Morris dedicated her life to helping others - working as a "highly respected" nurse who spent her career across multiple health sectors.

She dedicated 10 years of her life to researching HIV and AIDS, championing gay rights in a time of "extreme homophobia" and even setting up a sexual health clinic in Crawley.

She later cared for drug addicts and alcoholics in Hampshire and studied midwifery at the University of Southampton. 

"She always wanted to help people," said her son Matthew. 

"It didn't matter who you were or what your story was."

In 2009, Ms Morris followed her daughter Claire to Norfolk and settled in Rockland St Mary, where she became a health visitor for new-born babies.

In 2015, she even helped to deliver her granddaughter Marcie Barnard on a bedroom floor surrounded by family.

Norwich Evening News: Claire and Jamie Barnard with their daughter, Marcie, who was delivered with the help of her grandmother, Susan Morris (right)Claire and Jamie Barnard with their daughter, Marcie, who was delivered with the help of her grandmother, Susan Morris (right) (Image: Denise Bradley)

She later became "eager to retire" in order to spend more time with her family and her animals.

"She had amazing life," said Claire.

"Some people say she managed to fit the life of a 100-year-old into 61 years."



Ms Morris had five horses when she died and had also had - at various times - four dogs and two rabbits.

Her family said she was "besotted" with horses and was attracted to the idea of living in a horse-riding community in Rockland St Mary.

She would spend a great deal of time with her seven-year-old granddaughter - who, according to her mother Claire - was "as obsessed with horses as mum".

She believed "safety was paramount" while horse-riding and always ensured she was wearing an armoured body suit and helmet. 

"When we heard she had been in an accident, we thought she might have fallen," her family said in a statement read out in court.

"We didn't understand how [an accident like this] was possible."

Following her death, the family had Peg responsibly put down - while the remaining four horses were rehomed.


Ms Morris' children paid tribute to their mother, describing her as a "wonderful" person. 

In a joint statement read out in court, the family said her death had "a huge impact on us all" and marked the "end of a golden chapter in our lives".

"We were like the three musketeers," her daughter Claire told this newspaper.

"She was supportive and offered unconditional love - not just for her children and grandchild but also our friends and family. 

"She was also an amazing role model for me as a mother."

Ms Morris had also kept a diary from the age of 14 up until the week she died. 

This, according to her children, will help their small but close family "relive her amazing life and our lives together".

"She was an amazing and kind-hearted person," her son Matthew added.

"There was no judgement, she just wanted to help people. An absolute gem to this world."

Yvonne Blake, the coroner, ruled Ms Morris' death, on July 22, 2023, was "accidental" caused by "catastrophic injuries" sustained while she was leading her horse.