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Sucess for Personal Injury Defence of Professional Rider

Jacqui Fulton Equine Law are pleased to confirm the discontinuance of a county court claim made by a Claimant against a professional rider client which has been going on since 2010.

The circumstances of the claim were that the Claimant’s instructor had sent a young horse to be broken to saddle to the professional rider in 2010. The horse spent around 6 weeks being broken to saddle and was collected by the Claimant on her instructor’s behalf on 15th December 2010. The Claimant mounted the horse the following day, 16th December 2010 having lunged the horse firstly. She initially tried to mount the horse without anybody holding it but then asked an assistant to hold the horse when it would not stand still.

The Claimant alleged that upon mounting the horse, it shot forwards and bucked her off causing injury to the Claimant’s knee. The Claimant subsequently made a personal injury claim against the professional rider alleging that he had negligently broken the horse into saddle and/or had not properly broken/backed the horse.

The professional rider was initially represented by a different firm of Solicitors, but upon realising that he needed a specialist equine firm to represent him, he instructed Jacqui Fulton Equine Law in 2014. Upon taking over the case and on examining the accident scene and evidence it became apparent that the Claimant had mounted the horse at between 5.00 -6.00pm on 16th December 2010 when it would have been extremely dark. Furthermore, the arena in which the horse was mounted had no floodlighting whatsoever.

This has been a very worrying case for the professional rider who was delighted and relieved when the claim was discontinued on Friday 10th July 2015 only two working days before the beginning of a two day Multi-Track trial. The consequence of discontinuing the claim to the Claimant is that she is responsible for the Defendant’s costs as well as her own costs which now have to be assessed by the court in absence of agreement.

Jacqui’s comments upon this are that despite the personal injury sector not being anywhere as lucrative as it once was, there are still spurious personal injury claims out there which force equestrian centre owners/trainers and professional riders to have to spend a great deal of time, effort and money in defending the claims. It is important that a specialist firm is instructed from the outset to avoid a court claim being commenced from the outset.

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