Tragedy as ‘gentle’ Grant, 53, dies working at local stables

Grant Duncan, who died while he was working at an equestrian centre.

The mum of a Tayside man who died suddenly while working with his “beloved” horses said she was happy he died doing something he loved.

Grant Duncan, 52, from Kirriemuir, was working at Pathhead Equestrian Centre when he became unwell.

Despite frantic efforts by police and paramedics, Grant couldn’t be saved and he died at the scene.

His mum Trudy Connolly, 75, said she was finding it hard to come to terms with her son’s death.

She said: “This has come as an incredible shock.

“I have still not been told how Grant died but it has come out of the blue.

“He had not been unwell leading up to his death.”

Grant’s death is the second tragedy to hit Trudy. Almost 13 years ago, her daughter, Deirdre Duncan, 40, who was a postwoman in the Angus town, also died suddenly.

Trudy said: “I can’t believe this has happened. It is so sudden. Grant was working away mucking out stables on Sunday when I was told he became unwell. Emergency services were called out but nothing could be done to save him.”

Trudy said that she was at least grateful Grant died doing something he loved.

She said: “Grant loved working at Pathhead. He had been there for around three years.

“He loved working outside and I have been told by so many people that he loved working with the horses.

“I think he was very good with them and they trusted him. Grant was a gentle, kind man, liked by so many people. Nobody had a bad word to say about him.”

Ally Bruce, Grant’s boss, said he was a much loved and highly regarded member of staff, adding: “His happy, helpful disposition and his willingness to always go that extra mile for his team and his customers will be sorely missed.”

After leaving Webster’s High School, Grant went to work at Fletcherfield Farm, outside Kirriemuir.

From there he moved to Muirhouses Farm before later moving on to Auchlishie Eventing, where he worked full-time for James Helyer looking after the family horses. He then went on to help run the livery yard there.

While he was at Auchlishie, Grant also learned to build jumping fences to British eventing standard for horse trials events.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland attended at an equestrian centre near Kirriemuir about 12.15pm on Sunday along with the Scottish Ambulance Service. We were there in response to reports that a 52-year-old man had collapsed.

“Unfortunately, despite extensive efforts by police officers and ambulance personnel, the man could not be revived and was declared dead at the scene.

“There were no suspicious circumstances and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.”