Horse injured on ‘dangerous’ footpath gate

  • A call for owners to be aware of the danger posed by footpath gates has been made by a Derbyshire rider.

    Gates with sharp points on the vertical spokes have been installed on some footpaths by Derbyshire County Council (DCC).

    Denby resident Ros Hill’s Connemara cross thoroughbred, Cathy, was injured after jumping one. Ros believes someone chased her over one that had been installed in her field.

    Mrs Hill found the gate smashed and her mare injured on a neighbouring lane at 8am on 2 August.

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    The 12-year-old 14.2hh mare sustained a large haematoma on her chest, punctures to her belly from points on the rail as well as cuts and grazes on her legs and chest.

    Mrs Hill added the mare was “severely traumatised” and a thoroughbred that was in the field with her was also upset.

    She is now recovering well.

    “The vet can’t believe how lucky she was. If one of the spikes had penetrated full thickness it could have been fatal,” she said.

    “I could not bear this to happen to anybody else.”

    Before her mare was injured, Mrs Hill had put a rail in front of the gate, which she believed would be enough to keep the horses away from it.

    Mrs Hill is making a formal complaint about the gates to DCC and wants other livestock owners to be aware of the risks.

    “It is fenced off at the moment,” she told H&H.

    “We have sent the council an email telling them we are putting in a style.”

    She added she thinks the design is “totally wrong” and wants to see gates with smooth tops.

    A spokesman for the council said: “We are aware of this incident and are looking into the matter to consider whether any action is required.”

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