Injured course-designer Brian Lear is appealing for witnesses to the accident at last year’s Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) at Hickstead that left him wheelchair-bound.

Mr Lear was at the RIHS on Saturday, 30 July 2011, when the hydraulic ramp of his horsebox fell on him and broke his back.

The incident involved Mr Lear’s white MAN horsebox, which was parked in the lorry field. He had left the hydraulic horsebox ramp lowered for ventilation for his horse.

It seems that, in Mr Lear’s absence, someone manually lifted the ramp so that they could move their own box past, interfering with the hydraulic mechanism. When Mr Lear lowered the ramp, it fell on him.

Solicitor Neil Lorimer told H&H: “We’re just investigating the circumstances – we want to know the facts and then we will know how to progress. It’s not the first time something like this has happened and, from a safety aspect, we want to raise awareness.

“Brian suffered a serious spinal injury and is working hard on rehabilitation. But it has turned his life upside down. It has seriously affected his mobility and he is unable to work at the moment.”

Mr Lear’s wife Jan said at the time: “I’d urge people not to touch anyone’s lorry – if it is a hydraulic ramp, this will happen again. He’s lucky to be alive.”

She added that Mr Lear’s phone number was in the front of the lorry, so he could have been contacted if the ramp needed to be raised.

Any witnesses to either the closing of the ramp during the afternoon or the accident itself are urged to contact Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, tel: 0800 945 9935.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (26 July 2012)