A teenage part-time groom has been awarded more than £20,000 in compensation after being kicked while at work.

The groom was 16 when she was kicked by a horse on 1 April 2014.

She was working as a part-time groom at a livert yard in West Yorkshire when she was asked to turn out one of the horses.

The horse spun round kicked her in the face, breaking her jaw in two places and causing her briefly to lose consciousness.

She said she was not aware that one of the horses had a history of temperament issues.

A letter of claim was sent to the third party insurer alleging fault on the basis that the employer had failed to warn the groom of the horse’s known characteristics and failed to take positive steps to safeguard her health, safety and wellbeing while at work. An early admission of liability was obtained.

She was awarded £20,750 compensation via an out-of-court settlement on 15 July this year.

She is expected to make a “good functional recovery” from her injuries, although she was likely to suffer from altered sensation and mild paraesthesia of her lip indefinitely, in addition to suffering from mild permanent swelling of the left side of her jaw.

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“We understand that people are often hesitant to bring a claim against their employer through fear of causing difficulties in the work place, but if you sustain injury as a result of your employer’s negligence you really shouldn’t be put off,” said a spokesman for HorseSolictor, who represented the groom.

“Employers are required to have insurance and have a legal responsibility to ensure that they have done all they can to protect their employees. Appropriate training, a safe work place and suitable safety equipment must be provided.

“In failing to either alert her to the known characteristics of the horse, or put appropriate measures in place to minimise the risk, her employer failed in its duty of care.”

  • Penny Potter

    All you people who are commenting that its ridiculous and that anything can happen with a horse and it should expected. Do you also agree that there are ways to limit the danger when working with and around a large animal of this nature? Because this is what the case is about. She may well have had good training and she may have ignored it. Then its not the yard owners fault. BUT and this is the whole point of the case if she did NOT receive adequate training in how to handle horses to minimize the risks then it could be said that the yard owner has a responsibility and are at fault. I don’t know enough about the case to know which it is, but I do know that youngsters and novices who are paid to do a job or a volunteer who is helping out needs to be properly taught the correct way of working around horses. Yes things can still go badly wrong, but its much less likely. It is also much less likely that a case will be brought against a yard that implements such training as standard. Same as any other work place injury case.

  • Sara3304

    It’s time riding stables, stopped using children as cheap or free labour. She was only 16 and should have been supervised by an adult.

  • caro

    I’m aware that there are always individual circumstances but horses are unpredictable and short of putting someone who has never been near a horse in a box with a horse known to consistently kick out, I fai to see how the unpredictability of horses can equate to negligence

  • Liz

    There must more to the case than meets the eye.

  • caro

    I used to work as a personal injury paralegal and have horses and cannot believe that this case went ahead myself – all horses can cause injury and surely we all have the common sense to know this – cases like this will just increase premiums and put equestrian businesses OUT of business

  • Penny Potter

    If you accepted a job at the zoo looking after Alligators and no one showed you the correct way to go about the day to day care of them and you got bitten you may well have a case for compensation. If however you accepted the same job, were given thorough training and you chose to ignore that training and do things differently, then the blame rests with you. This is the whole point in this case, whether the employer is at fault for not appropriately trainrd this girl.

  • Rosemary DUDLEY

    Exactly right Penny. Lead the horse/pony into the field. Turn it to face the gate. Ask it to “stand” and only then take the head collar off. Step to the side backward and go out of the gate. If the horse then wants to buck, twist and turn etc the groom will be well out if the way. The yard owner should have given this young girl proper instruction on turning out. May I also add that she should have been wearing a riding hat and gloves.

  • freestyle10

    No sympathy at all, as a groom it is people doing this sort of stuff that makes my job 100 x harder, if you don’t want injured wether that be seriously or just a little bit DONT WORK WITH HORSES!! Only comfort in this is that no one will no touch this lass with a bargepole as far as the horsey world is concerned she is unemployable (maybe just as well!)

  • Greg

    Completely agree with Cathy Trope. This is ridiculous. And the girl is 16 not 6. Horses are big and unpredictable animals. When you work with them there is an element of risk which many of us choose to take. This is only the beginning – I am sure there will be more and more of these. And these ambulance chasing lawyers can’t wait to line their own pockets with cases like this. This was an accident. No one wishes the girl any harm, indeed lets hope for speedy recovery. But this is no ones fault

  • Cathy Trope

    Horses that do not have a history of misbehavior do things like this all the time because…they are horses. Spooky and unpredictable prey animals. This like accepting a job at the zoo and then crying when an alligator bites you. Ridiculous. Go work in an office.

  • furm

    This is an unfortunate situation and I feel sorry for the girl who was injured. BUT I agree with the persons comments below. I can’t tell you how many times I was kicked or stepped on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bee dislodged from the saddle. It goes with the territory. You may want to find another career other than horses.

  • Penny Potter

    I do not know the particulars of the case but if the girl in question had not been taught how to properly turn out a horse that would have a baring. I have seen many people walk a horse into a paddock and simply take the head collar off and let it go. I was taught through BHS training to always turn a horse to face you before releasing it. Much less chance of being hurt that way. We don’t know if this girl was given adequate training in safe leading and turning out procedures.

  • Nicola

    Obviously I am sorry for the girl that got hurt and wish her a speedy recovery but for heaven sake if you choose to work with horses there is always the obvious danger of getting hurt, we have worked with horses al our lives and even the most calm & trusted horse can have a funny turn, they are alive unpredictable animals that can take fright at any time. If you want to sue every time you get hurt then please choose another occupation, in the end this culture blame that the legal teams thrive on will eventually destroy our industry, you can be the most conscientious employer but you can never guarantee what any horse will do. Common sense seem to elude some of the new to an equine career and it puts employers off even employing them.