Horses always seem so majestic in pictures, but from the stories I hear they seem like frightening animals! This young girl has recently been killed by a horse during the Cotswold Hunt. The parents are devastated, see what they have to say about the accident!
In a joint statement they said: ‘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.’
Mr Armitage added: ‘She was our beautiful little girl.’
Bonnie is believed to have been kicked while riding her own pony behind a larger horse in front, tumbling from the animal.
Paramedics attended the scene of the accident at a farm in Miserden, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, at around 11.25am.
Desperate attempts were made to save the schoolgirl’s life before she was rushed to hospital. However, she died a short time later.
Her parents said the pony, Lindsay, was ‘absolutely fine’ after the accident and that it wasn’t the animal’s fault in any way.
Choking back tears, Bonnie’s mother, Polly, added: ‘It was just a tragic accident. I don’t want anyone to be blamed for this. It was no one’s fault.’
Bonnie was a pupil at £18,000-a-year St Hugh’s preparatory school in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, where her father Nick Armitage, 40, is deputy head and housemaster.
Andrew Nott, headmaster of St. Hugh’s, today paid tribute to the young pupil.
He said: ‘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.
‘Bonnie, the daughter of a member of our staff, was a truly lovely, talented girl who was bright, kind, compassionate 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.’
A spokesman for the Miserden Park Estate – where the Hunt was taking place – confirmed that Bonnie died after she was kicked in the chest by another horse.
Speaking today, he said: ‘The Cotswold Hunt were meeting here for the last meet of the season. They met in the morning and went off to do whatever.
‘She was on a horse at the time. It wasn’t the horse that got kicked, it was her.
‘All I know is the girl was knocked in the chest by another horse and the air ambulance came.
‘There were a lot of people there. The last hunt of the season attracts a lot of people. It would have been 30 or 40 people.
‘I don’t know if there is going to be a memorial service.
‘It’s just a tragic accident. It’s unfortunate. These things happen with horses.
‘People in the village are very shaken up about it. It’s such a terrible thing to happen to a young person.’
The year five pupil was a keen violinist and was starred as both a hockey player and cross-country runner at the school where her father – as well as being deputy head – runs the sports teams.
She was the younger sister of brother Zach, aged 11, who is also pupil at same school, and elder sister of Mamie, aged four.
Her mother Polly is a professional renaissance flute player whose father Reverend Canon Andrew Bowden retired in 2008 after serving the Cotswolds for more than 30 years.
An air ambulance and other emergency services rushed to the scene of the accident in a field outside the picturesque village shortly after Bonnie was struck by the animal.
She was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in Gloucester but her life could not be saved.
Horses were grazing in the fields surrounding the picturesque rural village of Miserden this afternoon.
Residents paid tribute to the tragic youngster and described her sudden death as a ‘terribly sad event’.
Speaking from her cottage, one mother, who asked not to be named, confirmed the girl was involved in the accident while on the Hunt on Saturday with her family.
She said: ‘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.
‘They meet in the village and then they go off riding around the fields in the area. They left the village and it was in one of the nearby fields.
‘It is a tragic, unfortunate accident. It is just awful when somebody so young is involved.’
The woman added: ‘The little girl’s grandparents are well known in the area and they are well respected. It is such a tragedy for the family.
‘When you take into account the amount of horse riding events happen in the area and how few accidents there are this is just a tragic, tragic event.
‘It is particularly sad at this moment in time for the family because they have experienced another recent bereavement in the past couple of weeks.’
Another neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘We know the family well. It was a freak accident. It’s really sad.’
A woman, who asked not to be named, added: ‘It is truly awful.’
Gloucestershire Police confirmed her death is not being treated as suspicious.
A spokesman said: ‘Officers were called to a farm at Miserden at around 1pm on Saturday April 2.
‘A nine-year-old girl was taking part in an organised event when she was involved in an incident involving a horse.
‘The girl suffered serious injuries and was taken to Gloucestershire Royal hospital by air ambulance where she sadly died.
‘The coroner and the child’s family have been informed. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.’
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust attended the scene with Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
A spokeswoman said: ‘At 11.25am on Saturday we received a report that a female child had been involved in an incident with a horse.
‘We attended with a rapid-response vehicle, an ambulance crew, a doctor and an officer, and the air ambulance.
‘She was flown in a life-threatening condition to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.’
The Cotswold Hunt was established in 1858, and meets on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Bonnie’s father worked in advertising before retraining as a teacher at Cambridge University.
He taught at Beaudesert School in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, for eight years before joining St Hugh’s in 2014.
The co-educational prep school costs up to £5,960 a term and has 300 pupils.
This is just terrible!