Turning tragedy to hope: Family honours lost daughter with memorial fund

Zara Buren

On September 21st, 14-year-old Zara Buren died trying to save her horse when he became stuck in a marshy bog in Flamborough.

Now, her family hopes to build a legacy that will help other young riders pursue the sport that Zara loved.

In under two weeks, a Gofundme page surpassed its $100,000 goal.

"Though only 14, Zara had a tremendous impact on everyone she met," the page reads. "Her innate kindness, her drive for excellence, her passionate love of animals, and dedication to her horse and the sport of Eventing, drew people to her."

Zara's riding coach, Holly Jacks, says the goal is to create a foundation that will help promising young riders who may not have the funds to pursue the sport. They hope to give out a yearly bursary.

"They are overwhelmed with support," Jacks says of Zara's parents. "What's getting them through is the fact of knowing that their kid made a big difference in people's lives."

Jacks says many people reached out to the family, asking how they could help and what they could donate following Zara's death.

"They've made it very clear that they didn't need the financial support during this time but they wanted to make sure that Zara's legacy carries on," she says.

Jacks describes Zara as a "phenomenal horseman and sportsman," who was a friend to all and who loved her horses.