Teenage rider’s death was ‘tragic accident’

  • A coroner has ruled that the young rider, Ella Pallister, died as the result of a “tragic accident”.

    Ella, 17, suffered a fatal injury while warming up for a showjumping class at Kingston Maurward Equestrian Centre, Dorset on 27 January. She died three days later.

    The inquest into her death on 3 July heard that Ella’s foot became stuck in the stirrup after her horse refused a fence.

    PC Hayley Greening, of Dorset Police, investigated the accident. She told the hearing how Ella had jumped the practice fences several times “without incident” and was about to be called into the ring to compete.

    “It seems the horse refused the jump. The horse’s head went down low, pulling Ella forward out of the saddle.

    “She fell in an unusual position and her left foot stuck in the stirrup, which would have been unlikely, had she been responsive. The horse stood still before walking, trotting and cantering a short distance. The way she was dragged suggested to me she was not responsive.”

    PC Greening added: “The horse then kicked out, Ella’s foot came out of the stirrup and she lay on the ground.”

    The inquest heard that Ella suffered a fractured skull and a severe brain injury.

    Recording a verdict of accidental death, the Dorset coroner, Sheriff Payne said: “It is tragic that a young girl her age came to grief following a sport she loved.

    “It would appear that all the appropriate measures were taken. She had the proper experience and knew what to do.”

    Ella’s father, Ted Pallister, paid tribute to his “amazing” daughter after the hearing.

    “Her Mum and I miss her very badly,” he said.

    “I hope this never happens to anybody else.”

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