A rider who suffered a serious head injury and brain damage when her horse was in collision with a motorbike has won a six-year fight for compensation.

Michaela Devereux was riding in the New Forest with her husband on 29 October 2006 when they were approached by a Honda motorbike with a pillion passenger.

Mrs Devereux claimed that the defendant lost control of his bike, which slid into her horse. Her horse bolted and she was thrown.

The motorcyclist, Peter Hayward, denied his bike hit her horse. He claimed the horse took fright at his approach and the rider fell.

But a judge at the High Court, Winchester District Registry, decided the evidence pointed to a collision. On 28 October he ruled that the accident had been caused by Mr Hayward travelling at excess speed.

This means Mrs Devereux can now recover full compensation for her injuries.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse and Hound (10 November, 2011)