Horse trainer gets compensation

A Lincolnshire horse trainer who was left permanently paralysed from the waist down after a riding accident was awarded £1.5m at London’s High Court in settlement of her compensation claim.

Sally Wilson, a renowned horse trainer, fell onto a concrete floor when a mare she had mounted reared. The accident happened in the crew yard of her home at North End Lane, Saltfleetby, in March 2004. Mrs Wilson was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary after the fall, where a broken neck was diagnosed. She has since been left paralysed from the waist down, despite numerous operations and will need life-long care.

Mrs Wilson who alongside her husband, trained Arab horses for racing at their home, filed a compensation claim against the owners of the horse after they failed to inform her of an accident that the horse had been in which may have left it in discomfort, making it prone to rearing when mounted.

The owners of the mare were sued for allegedly breaching their common law duty of care to Mrs Wilson.

Mr David Westcott QC acting for Mrs Wilson told London’s High Court that they fiercely disputed liability in the case. They claimed that the horse was normally extremely well behaved, but prior to the Mrs Wilson’s accident the horse had backed into and broken a gate and had sustained an injury. He told the court that when Mrs Wilson mounted the mare, unaware of the earlier accident, she reared as her girth was being tightened and threw Mrs Wilson onto the concrete floor. Subsequent investigations showed that the horse had discomfort in her back which caused her unexpected behaviour.

Mrs Wilson’s solicitor Ben Townsend said in a statement after the case had been settled: “Mrs Wilson is pleased that this matter has been concluded and is looking forward to getting on with the rest of her life. Whilst no amount of money can turn back the clock, the damages will enable her to enjoy a much better quality of life.”

The £1.5m was awarded for her future care as she will not be able to work again.

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