Fun ride death ruled ‘tragic accident’

  • The death of a woman on a fun ride was a “tragic accident”, a coroner has ruled.

    Mandy Berry, 58, of Clapton in Gordano, was taking part in a pleasure ride with her horse Crumlin at Cotswold Farm Park on 8 October 2017 when she was fatally injured in a fall.

    The inquest, which took place on 1 March, heard that Mrs Berry had been found 100m from the nearest jump and the only explanation for her fall was that her horse slipped or bolted.

    Mrs Berry suffered extensive rib fractures in the accident and her aorta — the main artery to the heart — was transected.

    Although she was still conscious and able to speak when she was found, she then slipped into unconsciousness. Despite the best efforts of first aiders and paramedics, Mrs Berry could not be saved.

    A statement from rider Katherine Topley said she met Mrs Berry on the ride last year.

    Ms Topley was riding with friends, but they passed each other several times.

    “Eventually she disappeared ahead of us and out of sight,” said Ms Topley, adding Mrs Berry’s riding was “very sensible” and calm.

    “We were in the final field and nearly back to the Farm Park when I noticed she was lying on the ground.”
Mrs Berry was conscious and talking at this point and Ms Topley stayed with her.

    Richard Davis, of Outdoor Medical Solutions, was working at the fun ride and was at Mrs Berry’s side within three minutes.

    He dialled 999 and started CPR when Mrs Berry lost consciousness.

    The inquest heard that Mrs Berry owned an air jacket, but was not wearing it that day as the connector was not on her saddle.

    Mrs Berry’s husband Keith stated his wife had been riding for 50 years.

    “Given her experience, she was extremely unlucky [to have this fall] and it is difficult to explain it,” said Mr Berry.

    “She was very safety conscious — she loved her fun rides.”

    Summing up, Gloucestershire coroner Katie Skerrett said: “[Mrs Berry] fell from her horse for unknown reasons quite near the end of the ride.

    “She was a very experienced rider and she was doing this event, which she very much liked to do. She was seen riding along sensibly and then she was found on the floor.

    “The fall from her horse, or whatever happened, was not witnessed by any other rider.
    “Why she fell remains unclear — this was a tragic accident.

    “She was a lady doing what she loved and tragically it had the worst consequences for her.”

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