19 March 2007
Injured horse rider falls at first hurdle of compensation claim
A former model who incurred "life changing " injuries after falling from a horse during a riding lesson may lose her claim for six-figure damages in the High Court.
Catherine MacClancy, 48, claimed that the accident was caused when she was distracted by a low branch while attempting a drop jump at Jillian Carenza's Vine Riding and Livery Yard stables in 2003.
However, Mr Justice Openshaw rejected her claim and stated that because "riding in open country is not free of risk ", consequently Ms Carenza could not be held responsible for Ms McClancy's injuries.
Mr Openshaw said: "Of course, an instructor must take steps to reduce the risk to what is reasonable and acceptable; I find that the defendant (Ms Carenza) did just that.
"I am acutely aware of the dreadful effect that this accident has had upon the claimant (Miss MacClancy), but I find that it was just that: an accident."
The case comes after Katie Whitcombe last year won £2.1 million after a kick to the head from her pony at the Fourwinds Equestrian Centre, near Spalding, left her with serious head injuries and in need of around-the-clock care.