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Riding Safely

Accidents during January & February 2005


Four escaped horses die in car accident 


THE poor state of the fencing at a BHS-approved riding centre is being blamed for an accident in which four horses were killed and a mother and her 10-year-old son were seriously injured, writes Michael Steed.


The horses escaped from a field at Hill House Equestrian Centre, near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, on Sunday, 30 January and were involved in an accident involving two cars.

Carol Pearson of Charity Farm, next to Hill House EC, said the accident scene was one of "absolute carnage".


It is understood that the horses, three of which belonged to Hill House and the fourth to a private owner, broke out through a gap in a fence.  A fifth horse was unharmed.


Horse-owning neighbours of Hill House criticised the state of the fencing at the centre.  Mrs Pearson said that the horses had apparently gone down her drive to the main road after breaking out of a field next to her own.  "These horses have been out a number of times, it was an accident waiting to happen. I've told Hill House about the poor condition of its fences time after time. It's such a tragedy and totally unnecessary," she said.


Tina Hart of Sand Lane, behind Hill House, said: "The fencing is terrible. There is only electric tape between hedges and it doesn't even appear to be connected."


A spokesman for Craegmoor Health Care, owner of Hill House, said it was conducting a full investigation.  "It remains too early to say how this happened and how the horses reached the road," he said. "Our thoughts are with those injured and we are very upset about the animals involved." Lincolnshire Police are investigating.


A spokesman for the riding schools and livery yards approvals department at the British Horse Society (BHS) said: "Approved riding schools aren't obliged to report something like this to us. But in this sort of situation, riding schools are welcome to come to us for support and advice—that's what we're here for. But we wouldn't get involved unless they asked us to and normally it wouldn't be for us to investigate." 

Source:  Horse & Hound 10 February 2005


Horse killed on B-road


A five-year-old Thoroughbred has been killed after a van collided with it and carried horse and rider 23yards along the two-lane road.


Anna Wood, 28, was returning alone from an afternoon hack and was 200yards from the stable when a van, believed to be travelling well within the speed limit, hit the pair. The road, the B1283 near Easington, Co Durham, has horse and rider warning signs.


The horse, Indy, died at the scene. Anna, a nurse, who was wearing a reflective coat, was unconscious for lO minutes. She suffered a broken arm and collar-bone, and spent two days in Sunderland Hospital.


Her father, Malcolm Wood, says: "The driver wasn't doing anything wrong and Indy was as near to bombproof as you can get. Anna had to use the road to get to the nearest bridleways."

Source:  Horse & Hound 10 February 2005


Electrocution horror claims two mares


THE Dublin show champion Dimmer Light has been killed with another mare in a freak accident that also nearly claimed the life of their owner's mother.


It is thought an electrical fault at the family's stable yard in Donacloney, Northern Ireland, caused a short-circuit that electrified the wet yard and gates.


Ivy English went to feed the broodmares at 6am and found one mare, All About Charm, lying dead in the yard. She fetched her son, Mark, and husband, Eddie, but as they neared the yard, Coot Cup winner Dimmer Light came out of the shelter and also died.


A third mare, My Irish Charm, another Dublin and Balmoral show winner, received a slight shock. She burst through a gate into the field, which saved her life.


Eddie English spotted sparks in a corner of the yard and told his wife and son not to move. Mark English says: "It was heartbreaking and we're still in shock. The mares were due to foal in a few weeks. They were wonderful show mares and family pets as well. My mother adored them. We're just thankful she wasn't killed when she went to investigate because she was standing in the electrified yard.  The light switch shorted and the current travelled back and connected with the yard. Everything was live, even the gates".

Source:  Horse & Hound 17 February 2005


Riding club secretary dies in dressage fall


A tragic accident during a schooling session last week has claimed the life of a Sussex riding teacher.


Helen Davies BHSI, 50, fell from her horse in an arena away from home. She sustained head injuries and was taken to the neurological unit at Hurstwood Park Hospital, Haywards Heath, where she died at the weekend without regaining consciousness.


Helen, secretary of Horsham and District riding club for 30 years, was heavily involved in road safety as well as her local Pony Club branch. She was riding her own horse at the time of the accident and wearing a hard hat.

Source:  Horse & Hound 24 February 2005 

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