The nine-year-old girl who suffered fatal injuries while out with the Cotswold Hunt was a “beautiful, vivacious and compassionate girl who touched the hearts of everyone who knew her”.
The family of Bonamie Armitage, who was known as Bonnie, released a statement last night.
Bonnie was kicked by another horse while she was out on her beloved Shetland Lindsay on Saturday, the last meet of the season. She was airlifted to hospital, where she died the same day.
Her family’s statement read: “Our daughter, Bonnie, was a wonderful person. She was a beautiful, vivacious and compassionate girl, who touched the hearts of everyone who knew her.
“She loved riding, and was never happier than when with her Shetland pony, Lindsay.
“We will miss her more than we can say, and we greatly value the prayers of so many of our friends.”
Bonnie’s mother Polly said she did not want anyone blamed for the accident, adding: “It was no one’s fault. It was just a tragic accident.”
In an online statement yesterday, the joint-masters of the Cotswold said: “As I am sure most of you will be aware, last Saturday’s meet was overshadowed by the tragic death of a nine-year-old child who sustained what proved to be fatal injuries in an accident in the hunting field, and slipped away after strenuous efforts by the air ambulance team and paramedics.
“As soon as it was realised that a child was fighting for their life, hounds were taken home immediately and trail-hunting cancelled.
“A sense of shock and sadness is with us all as we try to come to terms with the family’s overwhelming loss and grief, and we hope that the strength of our community together with the power of our prayers and the sincerity of our condolences will be of some comfort to the family.
“In truth we find it hard to write this, as a young life lost is very very hard to bear.
We would also like to thank the emergency services, who did their very best, and all who did what they could.”
Andrew Nott, headmaster of Bonnie’s school St Hugh’s in Oxfordshire, said she was a “truly lovely, talented girl“.
“The entire school community was devastated to learn of the tragic death of one of our pupils, Bonnie Armitage, following a riding accident on Saturday,” he said.
“Bonnie, the daughter of a member of our staff, was a truly lovely, talented girl who was bright, kind, compassionate, gentle and full of joy.
“Our love, thoughts and prayers are with her parents, Nick and Polly, and siblings, Zach and Mamie, at this profoundly difficult time.”