Victoria Elsbury-Legg forged a successful career in polo journalism after a lifetime devoted to horses.
The family of a successful polo administrator and journalist who died tragically last week have paid tribute to their “devoted and caring” daughter.
Victoria Elsbury-Legg, who suffered from ME, had been living with her parents in Dorset for the last few months of her life. She was 44.
“She was always a chatter box but a wonderfully caring daughter,” her parents, Sarah and Phil, told The Daily Telegraph.
“She made people very happy – especially us – and Victoria always went that extra mile to make people feel special.”
State school educated, the family said that Ms Elsbury-Legg had “an ability to speak to people of all levels and could mingle with the Royal Family,” her mother adding that “she taught me so much”.
Originally from Long Ashton, Bristol, Ms Elsbury-Legg’s early career was forged in television where she presented a successful series of the then-HTV programme The List, interviewing future stars such as the Spice Girls and Justin Timberlake.
She also wrote a ‘racy’ column for the Bristol Evening Post called ‘Sex in the City’. “Our builder at the time used to read it avidly, but we used to close our eyes when we read it,” Mrs Legg recalled.
Although she never owned a horse or pony, her life was devoted to them, while her father used to take her for regular horse treks in the Brecon Beacons as a teenager.
Such sad news to hear of the passing of @velsburylegg. The polo world has lost a great champion. Thoughts with her family & friends. #RIP
She worked for Beaufort and Guards Polo Club in Windsor, the latter for five seasons as assistant polo manager up until 2011.
Having nurtured a love of literature and reading – studying English and Drama at Royal Holloway College – she was urged to start a career in writing and began working for a variety of media outlets. Encouraged by Ricky Cooper, the Wales polo captain, Ms Elsbury-Legg also oversaw a number of social media accounts for players and associations.
The family said: “She was never out of work throughout her career and would adapt to do anything at any level. We are devastated, as for the last few weeks she was becoming despondent that she would never be able to return to her former active life.”
Hurlingham Polo Association, the UK governing body, said in a statement: “Victoria was always a pleasure to work with for the Beaufort Test Matches.
“Her enthusiasm and energy for polo appeared boundless and she would always go out of her way to help in any polo venture that could benefit the game. She will be much missed and we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”
Polo photographer Tony Ramirez said: “She knew everybody in polo. She was great for our sport and was admired by everybody.”
PoloLine, the media outlet who she also worked for, wrote on Twitter that she was “a great polo collaborator”.
This was highlighted by her support towards Power of Polo, a charity set up to help and inspire disadvantaged kids.
Katy Howard, of Power of Polo, said: “We’ve lost a dear friend and supporter. Victoria was a big part of our success and inspired so many.”
Victoria I’m in shock words can not describe how sad I am you will be missed so much. Thank you for everything x #restinpeace @velsburylegg
The Telegraph’s Gareth A Davies added that Ms Elsbury-Legg was an “extremely giving and helpful character.”
“It was always about being as pro-active as possible about polo for her,” he said. “She was a real champion of the sport. We have lost a wonderful person far too early. Many thanks for everything you did for polo, Victoria, and for often suggesting ideas for the betterment of the sport.”
The family will hold a private funeral, while a memorial service will be held in the spring with plans to hold an annual polo match in her name.
A memorial page has been set up victoria.elsburylegg.muchloved.com