The best friend of a rider who was facing a private prosecution when she died in a hunting fall has described her as a “hero”.

Jane Goring suffered fatal injuries while out with the Mid Surrey Farmers’ Draghounds on 7 November.

The 57-year-old had been told she would not face prosecution for an incident caught on film by hunt saboteurs last autumn, in which she appears to hit a masked man, who had grabbed her horse’s bridle, with her whip. But she was later told she was facing a private prosecution over the same incident, and was due to go back to court in January.

Her friend Macaylla Rutherford told H&H: “Jane was a hero.

“She had a heart of gold; I lost my mum nine months ago and Jane was my rock. She was my children’s godmother; now they say she’s their fairy godmother and she’s with their nanny.

“She was loved by everyone. Just a normal person; not upper-class, not trying to pretend she was something she wasn’t, she just fitted in everywhere and with everyone.

“It’s all trail-hunting; going out with your horse to have a brilliant day out. Hunting is a community and you all stick together.”

Macaylla said her friend had faced a huge backlash since the incident caught on film, on private land on which sabs were trespassing.

“She was a hero that day, she’d gone back to help a young boy, my nephew, who was surrounded by sabs, she went back for a child and I take my hat off to her.

“The Crown Prosecution Service told her she wouldn’t be charged, but the sabs set up a funding page and got the money together for a court case.”

Macaylla added that after the incident, Jane was subject to vile telephone calls, and had to have police protection outside her house.

And since her death, sick anti-hunt protestors have left further “vile” comments and messages online.

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“They’re disgusting people; who would write things like that?” Macaylla asked. “I want everyone to know she wasn’t guilty of anything; she was a legend and a hero.”

A funding page has been set up in support of the Air Ambulance Foundation UK in memory of Jane.

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