The West

Fatally injured girl  loved her pony club
Always smiling: Aislyn Melbourne. Picture: Supplied

Little Aislyn Melbourne loved horses.

The Port Hedland Pony Club was the two-year-old's "happy place", a close family friend said.

But on Sunday afternoon, the toddler died at the club after falling off a tractor being driven by her 33-year-old mum Emily.

In front of horrified youngsters and adults, the back wheel hit Aislyn after she fell from the seat beside her mother on to the dirt road.

She was rushed to Hedland Health Campus but died of her injuries soon after.

Aislyn's family released photographs of their smiling little girl to _The West Australian _yesterday.

The friend, who spoke on behalf of the Melbourne family, said the close-knit community was struggling.

"It's an absolute tragedy and everyone involved is devastated for the family," she said.

"Aislyn just loved the pony club. It was her happy place."

She loved the horses and running around in the dirt.

Like many young children at the club, Aislyn would wear her helmet and boots and even have a "ride" - her mum walking alongside, holding tightly to her daughter and the horse.

"She was a real bubbly character and always smiling, her little grin was infectious," the friend said.

Aislyn and her mother, who was on the club committee, had been helping at a busy bee on Sunday.

Members were preparing for a competition this weekend that would have included entrants from out of town but it has been cancelled.

Family friends said they were supporting Aislyn's parents and her two older brothers.

"The support network is amazing," one friend said.

"We thank everyone who is helping as much as they are."

Major crash investigators flew to Port Hedland on Monday to speak to Mrs Melbourne and other witnesses.

They are also examining the tractor, which was being used to move items around the club site on Sunday.

It had been based at the pony club but members said it would not be used there again.

The West Australian

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