Concern has been raised over the quality of the floors in some older Robinsons Requisite 200 trailers.
This follows an incident last month in which a horse fell through the floor of a trailer.
On 14 July, Sarah Smith, of Aylesbury, arrived at Milton Keynes Eventing Centre to find the plywood floor of her trailer had given way and her 17-year-old 16hh gelding Frankie was on the other side of the trailer.
“He had scrape marks on the front of his hoof, his near hind bandage was ripped and coming off and he had two large lacerations. You could see the fetlock joint,” she said.
The horse was alone in the trailer and the partition had been removed, so he was able to move away from the hole. Mrs Smith thinks Frankie may have been much more badly injured had this not been the case.
“Frankie had two-and-a-half-hours’ surgery — one laceration had lost so much skin that they couldn’t suture it, and is in a foot-to-hock cast,” she told H&H.
“The floor was ridiculously flimsy and if this is a wide-ranging issue then I am really concerned.”
Robinsons is now conducting an investigation into boxes sold before the company moved to aluminium floors.
It was unable to confirm when its trailers were first fitted with aluminium floors as standard.
Early models like Mrs Smith’s — which she bought in 2007 and has used “sporadically” — have plywood floors.
Following the incident, Mrs Smith had her trailer examined by independent engineers Bicester Trailer Services.
The company concluded that “the plywood does not appear to be of good enough quality for a horsebox floor”.
The report added: “Because the plywood is sealed with a fibreglass membrane, it would retain moisture and make the plywood floor prone to rot.”
Robinsons did not wish to comment other than to say it was investigating the claims. It has removed all trailers from its website, but the company says this is due to low stock numbers.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (4 August, 2011)