A CORONER urged horse riders to wear protective headgear at all times when riding after a member of a prestigious hunt died after falling from his horse.
John A'Brook, joint master of the Quantock stag hounds in Somerset died of head injuries sustained during the fall on October 14, last year.
Mr A'Brook, a 54-year-old farmer from Upton, Somerset, was leading the hunt when he fell from his mount.
The Taunton inquest heard that Mr A'Brook, an "experienced rider", had not attached the chinstrap of his safety helmet while riding.
The dead man's friend Ken Govier, also a farmer, was riding with the hunt on the day of the fall.
He told the inquest that Mr A'Brook had not attached his riding hat as they set off.
An hour into the hunt the party were travelling down an unclassified road on a farm in Shillingford, Exmoor, when Mr A'Brook suddenly fell from his horse.
Mr Govier said: "His head hit the ground, he didn't shout to me during the incident at all. In a matter of seconds I caught up to him, he was lying on his back and his hat was rolling down the road."
Mr A'Brook died in hospital six days later.
Recording a verdict of accidental death Coroner Michael Rose said: "This is a sad case, he was an experienced rider. It's clear to me that the deceased had no control over the fall.
"I would like to ask all people when riding these days to wear hats and at all times to have a strap fitted. Riders should have straps and they should be kept on."