The British Horse Society warns of the dangers of bareback riding following the death of a teenager

A verdict of accidental death was returned at the inquest of teenager Rachel Crossley, who died after falling from a horse she was riding bareback.

Despite wearing a hat, the 13-year-old from Pontefract,West Yorkshire, suffered serious head injuries when she fell onto concrete and died a few days later in Leeds General Infirmary in April 2000

Rachel had been riding for four years and was a regular client at an equestrian centre in Yorkshire.

Det Insp Colin Prime told the hearing that a 14-year-old girl had given permission for Rachel to ride the horse bareback.

According to witnesses, the horse bolted and Rachel struggled to control him, lost her balance and fell onto the concrete floor.

Members of staff rushed to help Rachel who was bleeding and experiencing breathing difficulties. She was taken to hospital in Pontefract before being transferred to Leeds.

Michael Tucker, chairman of the BHS Safety Committee, told the hearing that the centre had good facilities and was well maintained, but claimed that bareback riding did pose a “greater risk” and should only be allowed under close supervision.

Nichola Gregory , spokeswoman of the BHS said: “Bareback riding, especially for children is an excellent way of developing a strong independent seat but it needs to be executed in a secure and safe environment.

West Yorkshire Police were involved after health and safety officers raised concerns over the possibility of negligence by the equestrian centre. A file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided there was not enough evidence to bring a charges of manslaughter.

Read more about riding accidents :