Riding schools alerted to growing “no win, no fee” culture

  • Riders, riding schools and livery yards are being warned that they must have correct liability insurance in what appears to be a growing “no win, no fee” culture.

    A legal firm has told H&H that it is getting up to four calls every day after putting an advert for such services on Facebook earlier this month.

    The Forbes Solicitors’ advert on Facebook reads: “Injured on your horse? Was the hack poorly supervised? You may be entitled to compensation; click now to find out for free in 30sec. No win, no fee.”

    And Robin Bower from Forbes told H&H: “Riding cases are no different from other personal injury claims, the principles of negligence are the same.

    “There are more equestrian claims now than 10 years ago, but I don’t think it’s a change in mentality – it’s just that more people are riding.

    “We have represented someone who fell off and injured themselves due to a large HGV passing at high speed.

    “Another lady broke her arm when a horse she was leading whipped round. She was not warned and she successfully claimed against the owner.”

    David Buckton from South Essex Insurance Brokers advised riders and businesses to make sure they are prepared.

    No win, no fee is everywhere,” he said.

    “Equestrian businesses – and riders – must make sure they have all their paperwork in order and ensure they have proper liability insurance in case someone makes a claim.”

    And Julian Marczak from the Association of British Riding Schools added: “[Riding schools] should have comprehensive paperwork and undertake regular risk assessments.

    “A good rule to follow is that if it has not been written down, it hasn’t happened – courts will ignore good work that has not been recorded.

    “Proprietors should select an insurer who understands the sector. In this way, there is a fighting chance to defend unfounded claims effectively.”

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (23 February 2012)

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