THE funeral takes place tomorrow of challenging sports enthusiast and father-of-two Christopher Bennett who lived in Savernake Forest.

Mr Bennett, 62, died following a hunting accident.

There will be a service of thanksgiving for his life at St Katharine's Church at 12.30pm.

Mr Bennett, from Durley, was riding with the Vale of the White Horse Hunt at Poulton Fields, near Cirencester, on November 11 when his horse slipped on a muddy track and he was thrown.

He was knocked unconscious and then suffered a heart attack.

Hunt members tried to resuscitate Mr Bennett while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

He was airlifted to Swindon's Great Western Hospital where he remained in intensive care in a critical condition. He died eight days later without regaining consciousness.

Mr Bennett's wife Alison, son Nico, 29, who is a captain with the Royal Green Jackets, and daughter Emma, 33, were at his bedside.

Mrs Bennett said her husband loved adrenaline-fuelled sports including hunting, point-to-point racing, parachuting and flying a helicopter.

She said: "He had said in the past that if he had to go, he would be happy for it to be in the hunting field flying a big hedge on his favourite horse."

Mrs Bennett added: "He lived life to the full and we are all devastated by his death."

One of the riders who tried to revive Mr Bennett, Nicholas Lykke Dahn, spoke of his shock.

He said: "It was just a freak accident. The horse slipped over in the mud."

Joint hunt master Martin Wood paid tribute to Mr Bennett. He said: "He was a very jolly chap and a very good friend to go hunting with."

Simon Oliver, the other joint hunt master, said: "Everybody is terribly shocked, this is only the second accident I have heard of in 40 years.

"He had been with the hunt for ten to 15 years and was an extremely experienced horseman."