THE hunting community in the Cotswolds was left in shock this week after hearing of the death of Chris Bennett, a member of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt.

Mr Bennett, from Marlborough, died on Sunday at Swindon's Great Western Hospital after falling from his horse while out hunting near Poulton last weekend.

Several fellow hunt followers witnessed the accident, which left him unconscious and paralysed.

Two ex-army members of the VWH administered first aid at the scene until medical crews arrived.

The family man was taken to Great Western Hospital by county air ambulance after the medical crew continued to treat him on the ground for another 30 minutes.

VWH honorary field secretary Charles Horton was a friend of Mr Bennett's for 20 years and said he would be sorely missed.

He said: "He always lived life to the full. He enjoyed the thrill and buzz of doing something exciting, whether it was galloping about out hunting, diving out of an aeroplane or whizzing down a mountain.

"But he always had a thought for everybody else. He was a good, decent chap. There is not much more you can say."