Princess Anne pays tribute to late dog breeder in statement

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Gemma Strong

Princess Anne has released a statement following the tragic passing of her dog trainer, Debbie Zurick.

The 56-year-old reportedly passed away from injuries she sustained from a gunshot wound over the Feb. 23 weekend.

"The Princess Royal is saddened to hear of the death of Mrs Debbie Zurick," a spokesperson for the Queen's daughter told HELLO! UK. "She will be sorely missed as secretary of the Working Clumber Spaniel Society, of which Her Royal Highness is Patron."

Debbie was known for supplying the dogs to high profile clients. The Guardian reports she was shot dead in Somerset on a rural estate.

Police were called to Winsford by a member of the public at 2:30pm on Saturday. Firearms officers reportedly attended and performed CPR on Debbie, but she was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.

Princess Anne with granddaughter Mia Tindall took her bull terrier dog for a walk during the Whatley Manor Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park on Sept. 8, 2018 in Stroud, England. Photo: © Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

MORE: Princess Anne makes her London Fashion Week debut to present award

Anne is known for her love of animals. She famously has a passion for horses, which she shares with her mother . The Princess Royal competed for Great Britain in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and passed that love on to her daughter, Zara Tindall, who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics with Britain's eventing team.

Anne also has a fondness for dogs. While Her Majesty's love of corgis is well-documented, the 69-year-old appears to have a soft spot for bull terriers and has owned several of them. One of her dogs, Sparkle, was trained by the Zuricks, according to the Daily Express.

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!