Girl, 2, dies after falling from horse during hunt

Hunting – Saiyna Bashir

A two-year-old girl was killed after falling from a horse during a hunt in North Yorkshire.

The child was riding a pony with members of The Bedale Hunt on Wednesday when she was fatally injured.

An air ambulance was called to the scene but paramedics were unable to revive her. Hunt officials said its members are “completely devastated”.

A hunt spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a tragic accident happened on Wednesday, 15th September, when a two-year-old girl fell from her pony and subsequently lost her life.

“As a community we are all completely devastated but are pulling together to support the family involved.

“Our sincere condolences go to all those affected and we urge that everybody respects the family’s privacy during what is a very distressing time.”

Mock hunts for young children are held across Britain and are often called “meets”. Most clubs have rules in place to ensure young children are accompanied.

The Bedale Hunt, one of the most famous in the north of England, said it welcomes all members of The Bedale Pony & West of Yore Pony Club to come and experience hunting.

Meets specifically for children are held and they must be escorted by adults.

On some rides, older children are encouraged to stay at the back of the pack and help adults by opening gates or holding horses.

It is illegal in England to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs, but you can use dogs to simulate hunting in so-called “drag” or “trail” hunts.

North Yorkshire Police said: “Police are compiling a report on behalf of the coroner following the tragic death of a two-year-old girl who was involved in a horse riding related incident on land at Kirkby Fleetham, near Northllerton.

“It occurred at around 8am on Wednesday and the girl died at hospital during the early hours of Thursday.

“The girl’s family are receiving specialist support while enquiries are ongoing into the incident. Police request that the family’s privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

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