AMANDA Stone, 32, had a passionate love of horse riding - but ultimately, it was a passion that killed her.
The 32-year-old policewoman, who devoted her time to helping troubled children, died instantly when thrown off her horse on Saturday at Mitchell's Equestrian Centre in Egerton Hall, Malpas.
It was a love of horses that forged a bond between Amanda and best friend Jane Warburton when they met on their first day at the Hammond School.
'We met at about the age of 11 and became friends because we were both mad about horses,' said Jane.
'We've been inseparable ever since. She was an unconditional kind of friend, always there for you, never needing anything back. She didn't mind listening to me.'
Amanda, who lived in Wervin, Chester, with her two dogs Banjo and Pebble, would often ride with Jane.
The Merseyside Police officer had qualified for this year's North West Regional Dressage Championships due to be held at Somerset Park in August.
'She was very into competing in dressage and had recently got a new horse, Joe. Joe had never done anything when she first got him and in this time she'd got him up to medium level - quite a high standard.'
It was Joe that Amanda was riding on the day she died.
Her body was taken to Leighton Hospital, Crewe, where a coroner's inquest is pending.
Amanda moved to Chester from Bristol in 1982 with her parents Nick and Jenny Stone, and lived for eight years in Mickle Trafford. After attending university she returned to Chester and joined Merseyside Police in 1993.
She was a police officer at Moreton, Birkenhead and Heswall and was working in an integrated team of psychologists, social workers, teachers and police officers to help young children with behavioural problems.
'She made some career changes recently. She was going to start a child psychology course in Manchester University in August,' said Jane.
Chief Inspector Lenny Gill, of Merseyside Police, who worked closely with Amanda, said: 'In 2002, she was selected to be a youth co-ordinator, a first for the division. She was chosen because she got on well with young people.
'She was responsible for setting up an innovative scheme in Wirral called Operation Street Cred to do with combating anti-social behaviour and this has received national recognition from the Government.
'Amanda was very good in her job, a good friend and a very good police officer.' nThe funeral will take place on Wednesday at 2pm at All Saints Church, Hoole, and will go on to Blacon crematorium at 3pm.
Flowers or donations to the Zero Centre, the Leapfrog Scheme, 169-171 Laird Street, Birkenhead, CH41 0AA. Cheques to the Zero Centre (Merseyside).