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Horse rider wins £7000 in compensation after fall due to faulty gate

Posted in: Public Liability Sporting Injuries 

A horse rider has won £7,000 in compensation after claiming that a gate on a public bridleway caused her horse to bolt.  The rider fell from her horse leaving her with a fractured right shoulder and soft tissue damage to her chest, back and right leg. The gate, which was badly maintained, sprung back as she was passing through which subsequently caused her horse to bolt. The claimant’s husband had previously complained to the council about the gate, stating that it was in a frequently used public area, and that it was in a dangerous state. The council responded that the area of land actually belonged to a private landowner and that he should be approached instead.

Suffering from psychological issues

The claimant’s solicitors approached the landlord who offered to have her assessed to determine what treatment she still required pending their decision regarding liability. The claimant took the landlord’s offer up as she was experiencing pain physically and was suffering from psychological issues.

Subsequently, the private landowner’s council stated that the landowner was not responsible as the area was not a bridleway. They stated that they considered the gate to be safe and questioned why the rider had not dismounted to pass through. The rider pointed out that mounting a horse from the ground goes against the British Horse Society advice and that dismounting would have been dangerous.

Barristers were then appointed to resolve the liability issue, and it was decided that compensation was due. The injured rider received £7K, which she was happy to accept.

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