An animal lover died after being kicked in the head by a horse when he went for a stroll in fields near his home, an inquest heard.
Christopher Booth, aged 64, died from a heart attack which was triggered when the blow was delivered, a doctor said. He had endured chest pains for weeks before his death.
Mr Booth’s body was discovered in a field near Stone in Staffordshire on the morning of June 6 . The farmland, which included a public path, was used to stable 45 horses. It is believed Mr Booth went for a walk there the evening before his body was found.
Mr Booth divided his time between his home, which he was extensively re-modernising, and that of his long-term partner Deborah Williams with whom he spent weekends, an inquest was told.
He had stayed over an extra couple of days with his partner in Cheshire so they could celebrate his birthday together, the Cannock inquest heard, and had left early on June 5 to return home to Staffordshire.
Miss Williams said her partner had been suffering from chest pains but had chosen not to seek medical treatment.
He had complained of chest pains during a bike ride together the weekend before he died but had decided to ‘pedal it off,’ she said.
Dr Paul Hiley, based at Stafford Hospital, who carried out the post mortem, told the inquest he believed Mr Booth had started to suffer from a heart attack on that day which was exacerbated by the kick from the horse.
“Some people do not realise they are having a heart attack. They are at risk of suddenly dying because electrical impulses to the heart just stop. What we are less clear about is why this happens to some people and not to others,” he said.
Dr Hiley said Mr Booth, of Ryder Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, had a bruise on his face consistent with a blow likely to have been inflicted by a kick from a horse.
The blow would have sent a jolt of adrenaline through his system which most likely prompted his death, he said.
Miss Williams, who lives in Cheshire, said afterwards that her partner had loved horses and the outdoors.
South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh said Mr Booth had died of a heart attack brought on by the kick from the horse. He gave the conclusion it was an accidental death.