A British senior judge has broken his leg after being kicked by a horse while judging at Balmoral Show in Belfast.

Richard Mills, (pictured top competing at Hickstead in 2012) who was overseeing the Hunter Supreme Championship alongside Chris Hunnable on Wednesday 13 May, had just mounted and was riding away from the line up when his horse started resisting and whipped round.

“Chris had just got on a horse at the other end of the line and unfortunately mine took me back towards him. We both met in the middle and in the confusion the other horse caught me hard above my ankle,” Richard told H&H. “I tried to carry on at first, but I soon realised that my foot wouldn’t do what I wanted it to and that I’d better get off.”

Richard was taken by ambulance from the showground to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital, where X-rays revealed that he had broken his right leg. He underwent an operation and flew back to England on Thursday evening.

“It was such a shame, especially as I’d had to turn down my last invitation to judge at the show years ago because it clashed with my horse competing at Royal Windsor. [The accident] was nobody’s fault – just one of those things. Everyone, especially the show organisers, dealt with the incident very professionally,” continued Richard, who is now in plaster from his hip to his ankle and will be out of action for between six and eight weeks.

“It’s come in the middle of a really busy time and it sadly means that I will not be able to fulfil my forthcoming judging commitments,” he added. “But I hope to be back in time for Royal Norfolk Show [1 July].”

A spokesman for Balmoral Show commented: “Richard is an experienced judge and the accident was very unfortunate. We wish him a speedy recovery.”