LEANNE Smith’s goal throughout her cancer battle was to ride her horse again — and the wife and mother died on Monday doing what she loved.
Mrs Smith, 47, died tragically on a property on Burges Lane near Holbrook when she was thrown from her horse.
She had been diagnosed with cancer in August last year, but in January doctors gave her the all-clear to ride again.
Mrs Smith was well-known throughout the business and equine community.
Greater Hume mayor Heather Wilton said Holbrook was in shock.
“It’s just devastating for her family,” Cr Wilton said.
Mrs Smith was born in Albury and moved to the Mitta Valley where she met husband-to-be Mark Smith.
They had two children, Brent, a podiatrist, and Maree, who works in aged care.
Mr and Mrs Smith moved to Holbrook in 1992 and established Smith’s Holbrook Produce, a stock feed and farm supplies shop, which they ran together until they sold it to AGnVET in 2010.
Mrs Smith continued to work for AGnVET until she was diagnosed with cancer.
Friends said Mrs Smith fought cancer with “determination and courage” and she was positive throughout her treatment, determined to beat it.
“Leanne went through her cancer treatment with one firm goal — to be able to ride her horse again,” one said.
Mrs Smith pursued her love of horses as a member of Holbrook Polocrosse Club, Campdraft Club and Albury Wodonga Adult Riding Club.
But she had a desire to form a local club and she founded the Holbrook Adult Riding Club in 2007.
Her clubmates paid tribute to a great friend and confidante who always had a smile on her face.
“What really lit up her eyes was her love of horses,” the club said.
“Leanne Smith and the word horse went in the same sentence.”
The club said it was Mrs Smith’s drive and passion that helped to form a club that catered for adults from beginners to experienced riders and, with her enthusiasm, it went from strength to strength.
“Leanne will always be with us in spirit when we ride our horses, whether it be at home, out competing or trying to remember the letters of the dressage arena,” the club said.