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£12,000 compensation for rider trampled by horse in road accident

A rider who was trampled by her horse after he was spooked by a speeding car has been awarded more than £12,000 in compensation.

Claire Berry-Jones was leading her then-two-year-old cob Drake out in hand near her yard in Warrington in December 2013 when she heard the car approaching from behind.

“We’d just got on to the verge, which is huge, when I heard the roaring of an engine,” Claire told H&H.

“The car came round so fast, he came on to the verge behind us. I could see the white in my horse’s eye, then he just freaked out.

“He knocked me on to a huge boulder and just galloped over me, on my back, and he trod on my temple. My body was facing one way and my head the other; my then-husband, who was with me, thought I was dead.

“I don’t know how I didn’t break my neck, but all I saw was the car slowing down – he must have seen what happened – and then driving off again.”

Drake was unhurt, and soon caught, but it was found that Claire had suffered soft tissue injuries and concussion. Her injuries have affected the hours she can work, as a self-employed tattoo artist, as she now suffers from sciatica if she sits down for long periods.

“But the worst thing for me was that I became scared of my horse, and it wasn’t his fault,” she said. “I remember the first time I went to see him after the accident; he picked up that I was scared and because he was young, started trying it on. I just burst into tears.”

Claire underwent counselling, and is now riding Drake, although she has vowed never to ride on the roads.

And although the driver did not stop at the scene of the incident, she managed to secure compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which handles claims against uninsured and untraced drivers, thanks to Hanna Campbell, of HorseSolicitor.

“We were in touch after I put a post about it on Facebook and she said I could claim through the MIB, which I’d never heard of,” Claire said.

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“It’s taken a long time but [the compensation] will help me with my horse. It’s definitely worth contacting Hanna or the MIB if you’ve had an accident; people shouldn’t be able to get away with doing things like this.”

Claire’s case with the MIB was settled for £12,775 on 14 November.

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