Irish event rider to sue British team vet for neglience

  • Leading Irish event rider Jayne Doherty is seeking compensation after paying £186,000 for a horse she now values at just £1,000.

    Glen Corran (pictured right) turned out to have a heart murmur and be lame in all four legs, according to a High Court writ.

    Now Jayne and Paul Doherty are suing senior British team vet Jenny Hall for compensation, claiming she was negligent.

    According to the writ, international event rider Rodney Powell had recommended the horse — previously ridden by Nicky Roncoroni — to the Dohertys in autumn 2003.

    He recommended that Jenny Hall should carry out the pre-purchase vetting to advise whether the horse was suitable for CCI three- and four-star eventing.

    Ms Hall examined Glen Corran on 22 October 2003, and found he was suffering from a severe overreach, was lame and had a heart murmur.

    Six days later, she X-rayed his feet and legs and carried out an ultrasound examination of his tendons and suspensory ligaments.

    She told the Dohertys his lameness was caused by the overreach and recommended she re-vet the horse later, the writ says.

    Ms Hall examined him three times more in November of the same year, finding that he was lame in his right hindleg, and then his left foreleg, it is alleged.

    Mr and Mrs Doherty, of Castle Dillon Estate, Armagh, Northern Ireland, say they did not buy the horse at the time but asked Ms Hall to re-vet the horse in February 2004, and she produced a certificate which stated there were no clinically discoverable signs of disease, injury, or physical abnormality, that the X-rays and ultrasound examinations were “all within normal limits”, and that, in her opinion, “the conditions set out above are not likely to prejudice this animal’s use for eventing, including three-day eventing to CCI three- and four-star level”.

    As a result, they paid £186,000 for the horse on 20 March 2004, and insured him with Shearwater.

    According to British Eventing records, Mrs Doherty came second on the horse at Kreuth CCI three-star in October 2004, but the writ claims that soon after taking delivery of the horse, various vets have diagnosed him as being intermittently or permanently lame in all four legs, and not safe or able to compete at the highest level, either now or in future.

    Mr and Mrs Doherty allege they could not claim on their insurance because insurers Shearwater said they had failed to disclose known history about the horse’s past problems.

    The writ claims that Glen Corran has never been able to compete at highest level eventing, and has needed extensive veterinary treatment.

    Both parties were approached by H&H and declined to comment.

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

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