BHS issues warning over riding without a hat after 12-year-old girl dies after bareback fall

A tragic warning of the dangers of riding without a hat has been brought home at a coroner’s court in West Cornwall.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded on the death of a 12-year-old girl who was riding her horse bareback, without a hat and with no adult supervision.

The girl, Chloe Cavanagh, was playing at “round-the-world” on her gelding while touching parts of his body. It is believed that the pony took fright and Chloe is reported to have suffered a fit and fell into a coma. She died of head injuries two days later in hospital.

Chloe had been riding at a private riding stables. According to the coroners office at Helston, she is believed to have owned a hard hat and a back protector, but was not wearing either.

The BHS once again issued a warning to horseowners about riding and handling a horse withoutwearing head protection:

BHS spokesperson, Nichola Gregory said: “It’s nonsensical not to wear a hat at any time – even when you are just leading the horse. Injuries from horses have gone down five-fold since people started wearing them – and the new hats are a vast improvement on what they were. But they must be fitted properly.”

She also added that she believed top riders should set an example by always wearing hats at all times, including during training.

Details of the current up-to-date standards on hats can be obtained from the Mark Davies Inured Rider’s Fund’s website – visit www.mdirf.co.uk