Popular livery yard owner dies aged 51

Donna Potter pictured with her dog in the sand school
Donna Potter pictured with her dog in the sand school

A LIVERY yard in West Sussex is in mourning after the sudden death of proprietor Donna Potter at the age of 51.

Donna, who was also a horse dealer and breeder, had been based at Pound Farm, Woolbeding near Midhurst, for the past two years.

She died peacefully after a short illness at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester. Her funeral takes place at Portchester Crematorium tomorrow, Thursday June 16 at 3pm.

Born in Frimley, Surrey, one of seven children, Donna grew up in Hayling Island and her particular love of horses was evident from an early age. She first ran her own yard at the age of 17 and she devoted her life to riding and caring for horses. She is survived by her son Anthony.

Donna rode and successfully competed professionally in many equine disciplines including showjumping, showing, point-to-point and endurance riding before setting up business first on the Isle of Wight and then in the New Forest with a riding school and livery yard.

She left the Forest in 1990 and had a succession of dealing and livery yards at various times in Lovedean, Hinton Daubney, East Harting and then Sandilands in Nyewood for 10 years.

Donna was a true horsewoman who took great pleasure in seeing young horses and riders develop. She also understood the bond that can so often exist between horse and rider and had a knack of matching animal and human temperaments and characters to make great partnerships.

She was a mentor for several riders and horse owners over the years and would always freely share her wealth of equine knowledge with liveries who needed advice or assistance. The funeral took place on Thursday.

For full obituary, see Sussex Horse World, West Sussex Gazette June 15