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Riding Safely

Accidents during November & December 2004

Rider killed on Devon road 

THE untimely death of Rod Leight, 50, who died of severe head injuries sustained in a fall from a young horse on the road, has rocked the endurance world.


The accident happened on the B3181 near Budlake, Devon, on 6 November, while the road was being used as a diversion route following a crash on the M5.  Rod was taking the youngster over a bridge when he was in collision with a juggernaut. He was wearing a hard hat, but it was smashed when his head hit a wheel. The horse escaped with cuts and bruises and was found later, some distance away.


Rod, from Pinhoe, Exeter, was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but died several days later in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.


A lifelong rider, Rod enjoyed endurance success at national level, including a win at the Vine 100km ride in 2002 on his 17.2hh long-striding Thoroughbred gelding, Prince Of Barrow, who was put down last autumn after a leg injury from the 2003 Golden Horseshoe ride failed to heal. Rod competed during the last year on horses lent by Chris Yeoman.


At endurance's South West Group AGM and awards dinner, chairman Jo Claridge called for a minute's silence to remember Rod.

Source:  Horse & Hound 18 November 2004


Man dies out hunting 


FATHER-of-two Murray Stoddart, 60, of East Coker, Dorset, was killed in a hunting accident with the Cattistock at Eggardon Hill, Dorset, last Tuesday (9 November).


Witnesses say that his horse panicked after a stirrup leather broke; the animal then bolted and jumped a gate on to a road, where the rider was thrown.


An air ambulance took him to Dorchester hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Stoddart subscribed to the Cattistock for more than 30 years, and was also well known in Taunton Vale country.


"Murray was an ardent hunting man and had horses in training, "says Cattistock hunt chairman Peter Southcombe.”He loved the countryside and country sports."


A service will be held on 29 November at East Coker Church, Dorset.

Source:  Horse & Hound 18 November 2004

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