A compensation claim has been launched after a stablehand fell from a racehorse.
Laura Coward was seriously injured in the incident, which happened when she was just 17 years old back in November 2008. She was working at the Horses First Racing Ltd stables in Wiltshire at the time.
The accident happened whilst Laura was taking a “trial ride” of the racehorse called Saucy Night. The horse had retired from racing but was famous for winning a two and a half mile steeplechase at Folkestone Racecourse whilst not wearing horseshoes.
Legal papers submitted to the High Court in London state that the “trial ride” was designed to see if Ms Coward had the ability to handle the horse. It is alleged that Ms Coward informed staff that she had not ridden for a while but was reassured that she would be fine.
Whilst riding Saucy Night, the horse began to trot. She tried to rein him back into a walking pace but instead he accelerated further.
This caused her to panic and lose her right stirrup. Saucy Night then accelerated further, causing Ms Coward to fall off the horse completely. She landed on the wooden fencing of the arena and suffered a broken back.
The injury has left her paraplegic and dependent on a wheelchair. The Western Daily Press reports that she is now making a riding accident claim for her injuries.
The court papers submitted by her legal team argue that the horse should have been led by a rope in the circumstances. It is also claimed that Saucy Night suffered from a disease called ‘the strangles’ before the accident. This would have made him more resistant to being ridden.