Bateson Trailers has replaced the floors in 50 of its top-of-the-range Ascot trailers after a horse fell through the floor of a two-week-old box.

The trailers were recalled last month after Sarah Jacklin’s part-bred Irish draught escaped injury on the motorway on 11 March.

“I was flagged down by a frantic motorcyclist on the M45 to say Foggy’s legs were hanging out of the bottom of the trailer,” said Mrs Jacklin.

“By some miracle the thick rubber matting had wrapped itself around his legs, protecting them from the metal and from being severed or broken.”

The 16.2hh Foggy suffered only superficial wounds.

Mrs Jacklin said she had bought a Bateson because she had heard they had a good safety record, so was amazed that a fault should develop on only the box’s second outing.

“It was a new box – I could not believe it,” she said.

Brian Bateson said the problem related to a batch of plastic flooring secured by the Cheshire-based company just before Christmas last year.

“There was a delay on delivery of our usual product, so we bought one that was meant to be of the same specification,” he explained.

“But although it had the same weight-bearing property, it did not have the same impact resistance and was too brittle.”

Between 15 and 20 of the affected trailers had been sold, but Mr Bateson said his company had managed to contact all the new owners. The 50 affected box floors were replaced within a week.

“Mrs Jacklin was the only person to have had a problem,” he added.

The fault affected trailers of both the 55HB and 56HB specification. Any problems with a Bateson trailer should – in the first instance – be referred to the dealership where it was bought.

The British Horse Society (BHS) recommends that all trailer users regularly lift the rubber matting in their boxes to check the soundness of the floor beneath, especially in trailers with timber floors.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (24 May 2012)