Riding a horse can be a thrilling, enjoyable and rewarding activity. It is estimated that nearly 3 million people in the UK ride horses. However, like any other activity accompanying an animal, a delightful horse riding activity can turn into a nightmare at any moment.
Horse riding accidents are actually quite common and can result in from fairly minor injuries to serious life changing injuries and even death. Statistics submitted to British Horse Society show that within the last 10 years, 43 humans have lost their lives and 315 horses have been killed as a result of horse riding traffic accidents on our roads. In the last year alone 1037 road incidents involving horses and vehicles were reported to British Horse Society. Astonishingly, around 50% of the all horse riding accident actually occur on the UK’s roads.
There can be a number reasons for a horse rider being injured – a horse behaving dangerously, the keeper of the horse being negligent in his duty of care towards the rider or, a motor vehicle colliding into a horse, all causing injuries to the rider and often to the horse too.
In the event of such an unfortunate horse-riding accident, although it may not seem sensible to blame an animal and accordingly, expect a compensation for the losses sustained, yet the law does recognises the injured party’s right to compensation. If an injury was sustained as a result of a horse behaving dangerously, injured person can make a personal injury claim against the keeper of the horse under the Animals Act 1971. The Act makes the keeper of the horse liable for dangerous behaviour even though no-one was to blame. If an accident has occurred as a result of a collision between a horse rider and a motor vehicle, the claim can be made against the responsible driver pursuant to the Road Traffic Act 1988.