Spectator wins battle for damages

  • Woman wins four-year battle for compensation after being knocked down by a loose horse at a show

    A woman who suffered back and leg injuries when a loose horse knocked her over at a showhas won a four-year battle for damages.

    Lyn Young from Cricklade told Swindon Crown Court that the horse had got loose and was cantering towards her at Purton show in June 1998. It ran into her, knocking her down as she tried toshield her two-year-old granddaughter Lucy.

    Mrs Young won under the Animals Act, which covers the control of animals, and on negligence on the part of the owner for failing to take reasonable safety measures to prevent her horse getting loose. She claims that she is still suffering from back pain more than four years after the event.

    The horse’s owner, Dawn Bacchus, of Chiseldon, Swindon, admitted that her horse had got loose and had knocked into Mrs Young but denied liability.

    She told the court that she had owned the horse, Cognac, for a number of years and had competed in several classes at the show. Cognac had been tethered to the horsebox while she untacked him ready to go home.

    She described how the horse had pulled back out of its headcollar because it had been startled when a nearby lorry revved its engine.

    At the time, Miss Bacchus claimed that she had removed the bridle but said that the headcollar was very close fitting and she needed to undo the buckle in order to lift it over a plait.

    It was during this process that the horse broke away and galloped off, striking Mrs Young. Miss Bacchus denied being negligent.

    Read more news in this week’s Horse & Hound (14 November), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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