TRIBUTES have been paid to popular huntsman and country gentleman Geoff Parsons.

Mr Parsons, who passed away suddenly at his home in Alfrick aged 70, was a long-standing friend and member of the North Ledbury Hunt and served as master between 1987-2000.

He went to agricultural college before spending the early part of his career as a dairy farmer in Alfrick. Later he started horse breeding, and he and his wife Heather had run a small livery yard for the last 15 years.

He enjoyed gardening and going to the races, and was a talented clay-pigeon shooter and a member of the Alfrick air rifle team.

He also loved to travel and, together with Heather, visited destinations as diverse as Russia, Alaska and Niagara Falls in recent years.

Mrs Parsons has been inundated with cards and messages of sympathy since Mr Parsons’ death on Tuesday, October 18.

She said her late husband was a great family man, who loved being surrounded by his two children, two step-children and eight grand-children.

“He was a very busy man, always doing things, but very easy-going,” she said. “He really made an impression on everyone that he met.”

Val Allfrey, joint master of North Ledbury Hunt said: “Geoff was a long-term friend of the hunt and was always a person we would go to for help and advice. He was always most supportive of us and we have inherited a lovely pack of hounds that he bred. He still loved coming out with us and will be very sadly missed.”

A celebration of Mr Parsons’ life is due to be held in Alfrick on Thursday, November 3. Anyone who would like to make a donation for Associated Hunts and the Injured Jockeys Fund can do so via F.W. Spilsbury Funeral Director, 12 Upper Howsell Road, Malvern, WR14 1TL. Cheques should be payable to F.W. Spilsbury Charities Account.