A rider who suffered a head injury when the horse she was riding veered through a hedge and she fell on to tarmac has failed to get compensation.
It is the third case this year in which the Appeal Court has refused compensation to injured riders – indicating that courts feel riders must accept the risks of their sport.
Nadine Turnbull, 32, of Hanslope, Milton Keynes, helped to exercise a horse in March 2006 while his owner Rebecca Warrener was pregnant. But Ms Turnbull fell, hitting her head.
She still suffers migraines.
After Oxford County Court dismissed her claim for damages last year, she went to the Appeal Court, but on 3 April her case was quashed.
Handing down judgement, Lord Justice Lewison said: “An individual who chooses to ride horses no doubt derives enjoyment from being able to control a powerful beast.
“But inherent in that activity is the risk that on occasions the horse will not respond to its rider’s instructions, or will respond in a way that the rider did not intend.”
The judgement follows two recent Appeal Court rulings which also went against riders seeking compensation.
Lawyer Richard Brooks, who has followed Ms Turnbull’s case, told H&H: “The Court of Appeal has seemingly gone on the offensive and supported significant limitations on who can claim compensation.
“Anyone who knows that any horse can be dangerous will find it difficult to make a claim, unless there is some unusual fact about the particular horse they did not know.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (12 April 2012)