A judge has called a halt to a health and safety prosecution being brought against a company run by top course designer Mark Phillips over the death of a 19-year-old man at Gatcombe Park in 2005.

Daniel Brookman, a friend of Captain Phillips’s son Peter, died when the quad bike on which he was a passenger flipped over.

He had been helping to remove jumps after the Festival of British Eventing.

A three-week hearing was due to start today (Wednesday) at Bristol Crown Court, brought by Stroud District Council but the judge “stayed the indictment” meaning the case will not be heard.

In a statement to H&H solicitors for Captain Phillips’s company Equiland Ltd said: “I has been our position from the start that this prosecution is unfair and should never have been brought.

“Over the 25 years Capt Phillips and his team have been running the horse trials at Gatcombe safety has been the paramount concern.

“We continue to work with health and safety advisors, including Stroud District Council and the Health and Safety Executive to ensure the continuing safety of horses, riders and the public.

“We are looking forward to the 2008 event on 1-3 August.”