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A former jockey has received £85,000 compensation after breaking his leg so badly that he will never ride again.

Andrew Ball was employed at trainer Heidi Sweeting’s 20-horse yard in South Marlborough when the accident took place.

He was riding with a fellow jockey, whose horse kicked out and caught Mr Ball’s lower leg, fracturing his tibia.

Despite extensive medical treatment, infection set in and it took him two years to recover from his injury. Recurring weakness in his leg means he is no longer able to ride.

The trainer’s insurers admitted liability and settled out of court.

Mr Ball, who lives in Marlborough and is currently retraining as a chef, said: “My family and I have been through hell, but we now have some security for the future.”

Formerly apprenticed to Jeremy Tree in Beckhampton, Mr Ball also worked for Peter Makin in Marlborough and Matt McCormack in Sparsholt.

He had around 60 race rides in this country before spending a number of years riding in Germany.

Richard Brooks, a specialist racing and bloodstock lawyer at Withy King Solicitors, who handled the case, said: “Andrew’s settlement takes into account the fact that he has a permanent disability which means he can’t continue with his chosen career.

“The law concerning animal accidents means that, luckily, Andrew did not have to point the finger of blame at the trainer of the horse, who in this case was very generous following the accident.

“This is a large compensation award, but Andrew is significantly out of pocket as a result of his injury and it was right that he received compensation from the insurers.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (13 September, ’07)