Nine-year-old girl kicked to death during Cotswald Hunt
A NINE-year-old girl has been killed in a horse-riding accident while out trail-hunting.
The child sustained fatal injuries after being kicked by another horse while riding a pony with The Cotswold Hunt in Gloucestershire.
Paramedics said they were called to a farm in Miserden, near Stroud, at 11:25am on Saturday, where the girl was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in a "life-threatening condition" and later died.
A source said the girl was "riding slightly behind a bigger horse" that "kicked out" at her pony and "caught her". It is unclear what type of injuries the girl sustained from the incident.
The Cotswold Hunt issued a statement saying their meeting on Saturday was "over-shadowed by the tragic death of a nine-year-old child."
The statement from the Hunt's Joint Masters said the child "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."
A Miserden resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Western Daily Press: "The Hunt is very well known and established in the area. The feeling around the village is that it is just a terribly, terribly tragic, sad event."
A spokesman from Gloucestershire Police said officers were called to the farm at around 1pm on Saturday.
The coroner and the child's family have been informed about the incident and it is not being treated as suspicious, police said.
A spokeswoman from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said they attended the scene with "a rapid-response vehicle, an ambulance crew, a doctor and an officer, and the air ambulance."
The girl "was flown in a life-threatening condition to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital," she added.
Additional reporting by Press Association