Fall from horse during riding lesson

The Plaintiff was an inexperienced rider taking lessons with the Defendant who was a riding instructor.

The Plaintiff was riding a relatively gentle mare – but one that did not like tight fitted equipment around her nose and mouth.

The events which transpired that day were in dispute.  Ultimately the Plaintiff’s version  was preferred.   She alleged that after having some difficulty controlling the horse the riding instructor came over to her and tightened the bridle to the tightest notch.  The horse then began to misbehave.

Whilst riding the horse after that, she lost control and fell off – injuring her ankle.

The District Court ultimately found that a reasonable person would have undertaken precautions including the gradual tightening of the bridal and asking the Plaintiff to dismount before tightening the equipment.  These were simple and practical options and the failure to undertake them caused the injury.  The court awarded the Plaintiff an amount of $334,734.

For more details read the full version of the court judgment:

McDermott v Woods [2015] NSWDC 27

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