TRIBUTES have poured in for a nine-year-old girl who died while horse-riding with the Cotswold Hunt.

Bonnie Armitage, a former pupil at the Beaudesert School in Minchinhampton, was riding her Shetland pony, Lindsay, when she was kicked in the chest by a horse in front while out with The Cotswold Hunt in Miserden on Saturday morning.

She was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital but died of her injuries.

Tributes have flooded in for Bonnie and hundreds of horse-riders have shown their support for her family on Twitter and Facebook.

Bonnie’s parents, Nick and Polly Armitage, paid tribute to their “beautiful little girl”.

“She was a beautiful, vivacious and compassionate girl, who touched the hearts of everyone who knew her,” they said. “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, who taught at Beaudesert School for eight years, added: “She was our beautiful little girl.”

Polly said: “It was just a tragic accident. I don’t want anyone to be blamed for this. It was no-one’s fault.”

In a statement, members of The Cotswold Hunt said: “A sense of overwhelming shock and sadness is with us all as we try to come to terms with her family’s overwhelming loss and grief, and I 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."

Bonnie was a pupil at St Hugh’s preparatory school in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, where her father Nick, 40, is a deputy head and housemaster.

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.

Andrew Nott, headmaster of St Hugh’s, said: “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.”

The Year 5 pupil, whose full name is Bonamie Elena Miriam, played the violin and was a keen hockey player and cross-country runner.

Bonnie was the younger sister of Zach, 11, who is also a pupil at the school, and elder sister of Mamie, four.

A spokesman for the Miserden Park Estate, which owns many of the houses and surrounding land, said the village was in shock.

“It’s just a tragic accident,” he said. “People in the village are very shaken up about it.

"It’s such a terrible thing to happen to a young person.”

The horse-riding community has united on Facebook and Twitter to support Bonnie’s family.

Under the hashtag blueforbonnie – blue was her favourite colour – riders have been posting photos of themselves wearing something blue while on a horse, with Laura Collett, a seven-time gold medalist at the European Championships, joining the campaign.