Tributes paid to grandfather who died after his horse bolted

TRAGEDY Terry Eastman with his beloved horse, Oscar
TRAGEDY Terry Eastman with his beloved horse, Oscar
Comedian Ken Cheng with his prize for the Dave's Funniest Joke Of The Edinburgh Fringe award. Picture: UKTV Dave/Martina Salvi/PA Wire

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FRIENDS of a man who died when his horse bolted have described him as ‘everyone’s best mate’.

Terry Eastman was killed when he was out driving his horse and trap.

His beloved horse, Oscar, became distressed and ended up dragging the carriage – with 52-year-old Mr Eastman in it – along the road until it smashed into a sign.

The grandfather was thrown from the trap and died hours later at Southampton General Hospital of head injuries, as reported in The News.

His close friend Sian Tiley, who stabled her horses next to his in Lovedean, said: ‘I’m still in shock at the moment.

‘It’s devastating to lose a man as nice as Terry. He was everyone’s best mate really, he’d do anything for anyone.

‘He was always helping out where he could and putting others in front of himself. He was a diamond.’

Mr Eastman, a gas engineer, of Lovedean Lane, Lovedean, had a lifelong passion for horses and kept them as a child.

When he got older he decided to keep them again and about eight years ago he bought Oscar.

He had him broken in to ride the trap, which he spent many happy hours on at the weekends.

Friends say the father-of-two would delight in taking friends and family out on the trap.

The 40-year-old friend who was with him when the accident happened is said to be traumatised.

Mrs Tiley, 36, from Petersfield, added: ‘He had a small cart horse and started driving a horse and cart which he found slow and steady. He wanted something to do a bit more.

‘That is when he got Oscar. Oscar knows Terry is not here now and he knows that he is not where he should be but he is fine.’

Gwen Windebank, who became good friends with Mr Eastman through their shared love of horses, said: ‘It is such a very sad loss. We used to keep our horses near each other in Lovedean and he was the nicest man I have ever met.

‘He was completely selfless in everything he did.’

Mr Eastman’s family were too upset to speak to The News but the photo above, taken in April this year, is one of their favourite photos of him.

Police are seeking witnesses to the incident on Sunday, August 14 but say they are treating it as an accident. Call Sgt Mark Weller, at Fratton Roads Policing Unit, on 101, quoting Operation Caledonian.