Keen horse rider Janet Whipps died from a neck injury after being thrown from her horse, an inquest heard.

The hearing in Salisbury last Thursday heard that on June 2, 2012, Mrs Whipps, 56, of Springs Hill Cottage on Ambrose Farm, Ramsbury, was found face down on a bridleway near her home by runner Nick Weston.

At about 11am she had taken her horse, which she had owned for five weeks, on one of their regular riding routes and came off the thoroughbred around 700 yards from her home.

Mrs Whipps, a seamstress, went riding at least every other day for the past 19 years and was described by her husband of 29 years, Andrew, as a competent rider.

He said: “My opinion was the horse was too big for her, but she was adamant it was the right horse for her.

“I can’t believe she would have fallen off if she was walking but you just don’t know, a deer could have gone walking across her track.”

Mr Weston, a vet, was running along the bridleway when he saw the horse without a rider.

He said: “I thought it had escaped while it was being saddled and bridled, or that there was a rider missing somewhere”.

When he continued down the track, he found Mrs Whipps unconscious, so he called 999 and the operator advised him to begin CPR.

Paramedics arrived 15 minutes later but Mrs Whipps could not be resuscitated.

Wiltshire assistant deputy coroner Ian Singleton said: “On balance of probability, I believe Janet was thrown from her horse by a stumble, which was the horse’s response to the sudden appearance of an animal.”

Mr Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death.