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Horse Riding Accident Claims

Horse riding can be a thrilling and exhilarating activity, but it also involves certain risks. Even with proper training and precautions, accidents can happen. If you have been injured in a horse riding accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Making a claim after a horse riding accident

Horse riding is a diverse activity enjoyed by many as a relaxing, family-orientated pastime. To others, horse riding is enjoyed as an amateur sport, and by jockeys as a serious professional sport. And with any sport, it involves an element of risk. However, given this sport involves a horse – the risk is higher. The sheer size and power of horses means things can go wrong causing potentially serious injuries.

Whether you are a horse rider or a member of the public, and have been injured by a horse, or someone riding a horse, you could be eligible to claim compensation. But, in order to successfully make a personal injury claim for injuries sustained in a horse riding accident, there has to be someone at fault.

For example, if you suffered an injury as a result of your own momentary lack of concentration, that is no one’s fault but yours. If you’re responsible for your horse-riding gear and it wasn’t fitted correctly, no one else can be held responsible.

Simple accidents do happen, but if someone was negligent and this caused your injury, you should be able to make a personal injury claim. This means working out whether a duty of care was owed to you and if that duty was breached, causing your injuries.

In some cases, it can be difficult to determine whether the accident was someone else’s fault, or that it happened because the horse just decided to do its own thing – whether spontaneously or because it was spooked by something. This is where specialist legal advice is vital.

To find out more about claiming horse riding accident compensation, call 0800 234 6438 and speak with a trained legal advisor for free. They’ll listen to what happened to you and if they believe you have a horse riding injury claim to make, they’ll partner you with specialist personal injury solicitors who have extensive experience claiming compensation for horse riding injuries.

DID YOU KNOW: Horse riding is perceived by the public to be the 3rd most dangerous sport in the UK in terms of the injuries they have sustained (below boxing and rugby). The reality is that horse riding is the 9th most dangerous sport.

Common causes of horse riding accidents

There are many different factors that can contribute to horse riding accidents. Some of the most common causes include:

Poorly maintained equipment

Horse riding equipment such as saddles, reins, and stirrups must be well-maintained to ensure rider safety. If equipment is not properly maintained or is faulty, it can result in accidents and injuries.

Inadequate training

Riders need to be properly training in how to handle horses safely. Without proper training, riders may not know how to react in different situations, or may be unable to control their horse, leading to accidents.

Unsafe riding conditions

If you ride out when it’s unsafe to do so, e.g. in poor weather or over uneven terrain, this can increase the risk of accidents. Riders must be aware of the conditions they are riding in and adjust their riding accordingly.

Horse behaviour

Horses can be unpredictable, they get spooked easily, and their reaction can lead to accidents, for example, sudden movements or fast cars, can cause a horse to buck or bolt.

It is not uncommon for horses to be involved in road traffic accidents because motorists do not always take sufficient care on the road when approach horses being ridden on public roads. A horse that is frightened by something unexpected can rear or bolt without warning.

Where it is clear that someone else was at fault, you should be able to make a claim. For instance, if your horse trainer was responsible for the ill-fitting girth or reins or other gear, they could be held liable for your injury; and a motorist driving carelessly causing your horse to bolt can be held liable for your resulting injuries.

If the injuries took place at a horse-racing event, the organisers and/or the horse riding club could be held responsible, but expert legal advice must be taken as early as possible.

Find out more about holiday accident claims.

DID YOU KNOW: In incidents reported to the British Horse Society, 80 horses were killed on Britain’s roads in 2019/20.

Common horse riding injuries

Typical equestrian injuries are minor, whilst others can be serious and even life threatening. It’s not hard to imagine how the blow from a horse kick, or a fall from a horse being ridden at 40mph, can cause serious injuries to the victim. Even more serious, and potentially fatal, is where a horse falls on top of its rider.

Common injuries associated with horse riding include:

Head and brain injuries

Head injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries associated with horse riding accidents. These injuries can range from mild concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries, which can have long-term effects on a person’s cognitive and motor functions.

Fractures and broken bones

Other common injuries include fractures and broken bones. These injuries can occur in the arms, legs, ribs, and spine, and can require long periods of rest and rehabilitation to fully heal.

Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and contusions are also common. These injuries can affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Abrasions and cuts

Finally, when a rider falls off a horse or is kicked by a horse, abrasions and cuts are common injuries that can occur. These injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to deeper cuts that require stitches.

However, it’s not only riders and jockeys who are at risk of injury: those working with horses are also exposed to the risk of injury, for instance, if they do not handle the horse correctly. Horses can, after all, have a mind of their own.

Equestrian injuries can also occur to riders or spectators at horse racing fixtures. These may be crushing injuries, or bites or kicks, and can be very serious.

DID YOU KNOW: Head injuries are often the most dangerous injuries arising out of horse riding, so there is a particular procedure in place for jockeys returning to race following concussion.

Liability in horse riding accidents

Liability in horse riding accidents can be complicated. Determining liability in a horse riding accident involves considering a number of different factors. For example:

Duty of care

Under UK law, horse owners and those who provide horse riding services e.g. horse riding lessons at a riding school, have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their horse riders, including clients and visitors. This means they must take reasonable steps to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.


If a horse riding accident is caused by the negligence of one or more parties, all parties may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Negligence can include things like failing to properly maintain equipment, failing to provide adequate training or supervision, or engaging in reckless behaviour.

Contributory negligence

If the rider contributed to the accident through their own negligence, their compensation may be reduced to reflect their share of the responsibility. For example, if a rider was not wearing appropriate safety gear, or was riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this may be taken into account when determining liability.

Equine Act 1975

The UK has specific legislation related to horse riding accidents in the form of the Animals Act 1971 and the Riding Establishments Act 1964.

These laws establish certain standards for the care and control of horses, and provide a framework for determining liability in certain situations.

Proving liability in an equestrian injury claim

Whatever the circumstances of your injury, you need to gather as much evidence as possible. This includes:

  • Witness accounts of what happened
  • Your own account
  • Photographs of the incident (the road or race track, etc)
  • Photographs of your injuries
  • Sketches of what happened
  • Accident book records
  • You may even have been wearing a bodycam which could have vital video evidence of the incident
  • You will also need an expert medical report in support of your claim

How much compensation could I receive?

The amount of compensation you could be entitled to receive for injuries sustained following a horse riding accident will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the impact they have had on your life, and the extent to which another party was responsible for the accident.

Typically, compensation for personal injury claims is calculated based on two types of damages:

General Damages

General damages are intended to compensate you for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity you have experienced as a result of your injuries. The amount of money you could receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries, as well as how long you are likely to be affected by them.

Special Damages

Special damages could be awarded to compensate you for any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the accident. This might include things like lost wages, medical expenses, travel costs, and the cost of any necessary home adaptations or equipment.

Unfortunately, we can’t give you a specific amount for your personal injury compensation, as the amount you may receive will depend on the particular circumstances of your case. To get a better idea of how much compensation you may be entitled to, call 0800 234 6438 and speak to a trained legal advisor. If they believe you have a claim, they’ll partner you with an experienced personal injury solicitor who can provide you with a more accurate estimate based on your individual circumstances.

Why claim horse riding injury compensation?

Don’t be put off claiming compensation. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, and you’re out of pocket, or living with the aftermath of the accident, why should you suffer financially?

Besides, claiming compensation isn’t just about the money:

Financial support

Compensation can help to cover the costs associated with your injury, including medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost income if you are unable to work.


By pursuing a compensation claim, you may be able to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, and help to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.


Compensation can provide a sense of closure and allow you to move on from the accident, both physically and emotionally.


Compensation can help to fund any necessary rehabilitation or therapy, which can be crucial for a successful recovery.


If you have suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence, claiming compensation can help to ensure that justice is served and that you are fairly compensated for the harm that has been done.

How long does it take to make a claim?

The length of time it takes to make a horse riding injury claim can vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case and how willing the other party is to negotiate a settlement.

In general, the process of making a claim can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Some cases may be resolved relatively quickly if liability is clear and the parties are able to agree on a settlement amount.

However, if liability is disputed or the case is particularly complicated, it may take longer to resolve. It is not uncommon for horse riding injury claims to go to court, which can add significant time and expense to the process.

Are there time limits for making a horse accident compensation claim?

There is a three-year time limit for making a personal injury claim in the UK. This means that you must begin legal proceedings within three years of the date of the accident or within three years of when you became aware of your injury.

To find out more about making a claim for a horse riding injury, call 0800 234 6438 and speak to a trained legal advisor as soon as possible to discuss your options and ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines.

Can I claim compensation for a loved one who’s suffered a horse riding accident death

If you’ve tragically lost a loved one as a result of a horse riding accident that wasn’t their fault, you can make a compensation claim on their behalf. This type of claim is known as a fatal accident claim.

Under UK law, certain family members are entitled to make a claim for compensation following the death of a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. The specific family members who are entitled to make a claim can vary depending on the circumstances of the case.

Compensation awarded in a fatal accident claim can include damages to cover things such as funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of services provided by the deceased person. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on a variety of factors, including the age and earning capacity of the deceased person, and the financial impact of their death on their family members.

Make a no win no fee horse riding claim

If you’ve been injured in a horse riding accident that was not your fault, call 0800 234 6438 and speak with trained legal advisor who will provide advice and guidance to help you begin your claim. If they believe you have a claim to make, they’ll partner you with specialist personal injury solicitors who can assist you with making a no win no fee claim, which means you won’t have to pay anything if your claim is not successful.

You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain. Our trained legal advisors are here to offer free, no-obligation advice and help you understand your rights. Contact 0800 234 6438 today to find out more about making a horse riding accident claim.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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