Goodwill consequences, please read..

rcm_73

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Ok imagine this scenario.. You lend your horse to someone on your yard, (for the purpose of this we'll say rider A) so they can go riding with their friend (rider B) who doesn't currently own a horse but is going to ride A's horse while A rides yours. Both A and B have ridden your horse once before and consider themselves experienced & competent enough to go for a short hack on quiet lanes. What happens from when they leave the yard to when they arrive back you can't be sure as the story is a bit of a mismatch and time lapses don't seem right but the scenario ends with an accident involving your horse and rider B who was actually meant to be riding A's horse not yours. The end scene is a horse with cuts to chest and heat in the nearside knee, rider B with a broken arm, shoulder and needing a spleen removal op and a badly damaged gate belonging to a local farmer. The gate was damaged as Rider B was thrown from your horse into the gate. Without going into who was or wasn't insured, who would you say is responsible for the damage to the gate?
 

miss_c

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I would have thought whoever was on the horse at the time, as they are supposed to be in control of an animal on the roads? However it could be argued that as the owner you are responsible for the actions of your horse, but as you've said B should not have been on your horse that could protect you as they had no permission to be on your horse.

I think? I don't know from a legal point of view that's just what I would have thought... if you're a BHS Gold Member give the legal helpline a call...
 

Squeak

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I feel so sorry for you, what a bad situation. Such a shame that the riders wont be honest and say what happened. Hope your horse is ok as well. Sorry I can't be more constructive than that though
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Grey_Showjumper

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tricky one...
i would have thought that it shouldn't be you... but obviously they could say well its your horse, your problem...
if it was me, i would say that they knew the risks etc. and therefore you cannot be held responsible for any accidents caused by your horse while they were riding it...
its difficult to say which of rider A/B is truelly responsible, as it was an accident (?)
maybe ask them to split the costs of the gate between them?
difficult situation to be in... hope what i have written makes some sort of sense!
 

hadfos

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I feel for you!This is exactly why NObody is allowed to hack my boy out,they (i say they,lol...a select few
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)are welcome to exercise him in the school,which they usually decline as they wanna ride out,not on my boy,i know him inside out,and tbh even if i agreed to let someone hack him out,if anything happened to him i would never forgive them
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so i dont do it!
Hope you get to the bottom of things,and neddy makes a speedy recovery!
tbh whoever was riding the horse at the time should be covered by their own insurance,the fact they switched mounts is their responsibility surely,which then falls to the person on the horse!
 

bushbaby28

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I'm no lawyer but would say the person in charge of that horse at that particular time (i.e. the rider) was responsible

BUT surely the damage counts against the horse not the rider... i.e. 3rd liability cover in your insurance that states it covers any damage the horse causes to 3rd party?
 

Mike007

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Unless negligence is a factor,the farmer is liable. In England ,no fault liability is the exception rather than the rule.However since the major exception is motoring, people have become accustomed to believing that it is the norm.The other notable exception is animals. However since the horses were being ridden this becomes really complicated. I would advise all concerned to have a whip round and buy the farmer a new gate,and he can provide the labour to install it.
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jackiesansom

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Really sorry to hear this - what a nightmare for all involved!

I would say that this is a bit of a 'stolen car' situation. You never gave permission for rider B and they have effectively taken over your horse without your prior consent.

I have know idea how british law works in this situation but I would hope that you were in no way liable otherwise we would all be too frightened for anyone to step within 10yrds of our horses!

Sorry - prob talking a load of rubbish but trying to make you feel a little better
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PennyJ

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For goodness sake, a gate costs about £80 - £100, depending on how wide you need it to be. Just pay the farmer for a new one and get the money back off her later when she's better. Its barely out of the excess...
 

Bedlam

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The farmer should claim off everybody involved. The insurance companies will then fight it out based on the stories given to them. You should also claim for injury to your horse, and the insurance companies may well fight over that as well. If rider B has personal accident insurance they should put in a claim and let the insurance company sort that out too. I'm not sure that rider A can claim anything - but they could try for post traumatic stress I suppose - again, the insurance companies of all parties will probably sort that out between them too.

Insurance is very, very boring - I'm married to an insurance broker(!), and going through the small print in your policy is something you do only if you are sure you are immortal and have all the time in the world. Otherwise, just claim and leave it to the professionals to try to decide who pays.

By the way, if neither A nor B have the balls to tell you what happened, they'd both be off my Christmas card list, and I'd never lend my horse out to anybody again. I have BHS Gold Membership - it helps.
 

SusieT

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I would be directing the farmer to rider A and informing him it is nothing to do with you-let rider A come to you if she wishes to argue-and point out aht B should not have been on yours.
I would certainly not be chasing B if requiring surgery, depending obviously on circumstances.
 

Mike007

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Was the gate across a bridleway or designated horse track? If it was ,then the farmer had better check his public liability insurance FAST.
 

Bedlam

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[ QUOTE ]
Was the gate across a bridleway or designated horse track? If it was ,then the farmer had better check his public liability insurance FAST.

[/ QUOTE ]






Hadn't actually thought about that one - everyone should claim off the farmer too. Stroke of genius - let ALL the insurance companies fight over everything. They'll love it - it'll take ages and give them something to do, as well as justify the premium increases that will passed onto all of us.

Hurrah!
 

tangoharvey

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OMG all that claiming!! No wonder my windowcleaner cant use a ladder anymore!! Cant the 3 of youjust chat over a coffee and get the gate sorted as PennyJ suggested? Surely a long drawn out claim will only bring more bitterness and stress - start the new year with a clean slate!
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Super_Kat

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A new gate should cost no more than £100, hardly worth claiming off the insurance for!
Have a word with A and politely say it's their responsibility to cough up.
Lesson learnt - don't lend your horse to anybody unless you are in atendence
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vickybrennan

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The insurance companies require negligence to be proven before they accept that there is a claim to settle. Negligence in UK law requires 3 things to be true.

a) A duty of care was owed to the farmer? - possibly if they were on his land
b) Duty of care was breached? - you knew they could both ride the horse as they had done it before but were they doing something silly with the gate such as trying to jump it?
c) The farmer suffered a loss? - yes because the gate was broken.

While I was pregnant my friend rode my horse in a hunter trial because she was going to event. The horse panicked on the start line and hit a car. I assumed my insurance would cover the damage but it didn't because ... b) could not be proven - this was because the horse was an experienced event horse with no history of hitting cars and my friend was an experienced rider (actually a proffesional horse person).

I was quite shocked that the woman's car wasn't going to get repaired on my (or the rider's insurance - we both tried) but that is how third party insurance works.

I hope the horse and rider were OK
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bailey14

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I would have said you as you own the horse and thus presumably you have third party insurance for the said animal. Very sad tale and frightening. I lent a very close friend my horse once to go on a hack with another friend who'd I'd known for many years. Although I do not in any way blame my friend for what happened she came back from the hack telling me a speeding motorist had come very close to ploughing into the two of them. It was then that I decided I wouldn't never ever lend my horse to anyone again without being present. Horses are precious to owners, I would have been devastated if my friend hadn't come home (and obviously it goes without saying my beloved horse too!). Hard lesson to learn but at least your friend is alive and so is your horse although battered and bruised. Rider B would also be able to take up any personal accident cover she had seperate from her horse insurance policy if she had any (horse insurance rider accident is usually only if you lose an arm or a leg/ear/eye, etc and practicaly not worth the paper its written on).
 

a_e_d

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Liability wise it is actually a complicated situation and it probably is easier all round to just split the cost of the replacement gate. You also don't want the rider that fell claiming from you (yes that could happen, I work in insurance claims and have seen it happen).
In brief, the Animals Act 1971 made owners / keepers of animals strictly liable for their acts. This means there is no need to prove negligence. There are certain things that need to exist for this to apply, however there is no concensus as yet as to when strict liability arises and there have been conflicting and unfavourable court decisions. Amendments have been proposed, but following a mixed response, the changes have been delayed.
So, if you are going to go down the insurance route, make sure all parties are involved and let the insurers fight it out (contrary to many opinions, there are some decent claims handlers around
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).
As an aside, so sorry this has happened, I hope your horse is OK and this gets resolved amicably.
 

alsxx

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What a sorry state of affairs that there is now this culture of everyone claiming/sueing etc etc for the smallest thing...

If it were me I'd go see the farmer myself, take a bottle of wine and my chequebook and pay for the gate (probably after I had checked what kind of gate it was and how much they cost to avoid being ripped off!), and apologise profusely... Of course there is always the 'I don't see why I should its not my fault' but lifes too short and its that attitude that causes things to spiral out of control and leaves us with our claim-happy culture.
 

TequilaMist

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Agree with JackO.Liabilty insurance covers you for being sued its not like house and contents insurance and if you go down this route Horse insurance company want you to check with your house insurance if you are covered for public liability then they split claim costs.
I know this because my horse literally stood on someones head left her in a coma,nearly died and left with some permenant brain damage,physical problems that have got worse over the years,slight speech impediment,lost boyfriend and house and basically control over her life and you know what she got NOTHING as the onus was on her to prove negligence on my or attending vets part and she couldn't remember anything
So tbh would talk to friends and see who wants to cough up for gate and vet fees if any as hassle of going through insurance co would be a nightmare imo
 

kerilli

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i'd definitely keep the farmer happy first - pay him for a new gate, get a receipt if pos!
then tell rider A that s/he is responsible for the fact that rider B was on your horse (without your permission) and that either s/he or rider B needs to reimburse you for the cost of the gate, and for any vet attention your horse needs. half each might be fairest, but they can sort it out between themselves.
i feel v sorry for rider B for injuries, nightmare.
hope your horse makes a full recovery. i sincerely hope you've received an apology, but i doubt it if they can't even tell you the trust and get their stories straight!
this is why my horses don't leave my yard with another rider without me, either on foot or on a horse beside them...
 

MrsElle

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[ QUOTE ]
Pay for the gate yourself and hope B does not claim against you otherwise this could all get really complicated.

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How can B possibly make a claim against op as B was riding horse without owners consent
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Surely B is responsible in that she for some reason ended up riding ops horse (without ops knowledge or consent). Op would surely be within her rights to claim any vet expenses from B given the case?

Either way, personally I would pay for the gate myself and ask A & B for a contribution and leave it all at that. I am against sueing for sueing's sake and believe everyone should take responsibility for their own actions.
 

a_e_d

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Those of us with still some decency know its ridiculous to think that B could claim from the owner, but it does happen "your horse is dangerous ... you didn't adequately warn us of the risk" etc etc
I saw a claim once where a woman had a new horse delivered, was warned by the (now previous) owner to let him settle and not ride him straight away, but she decided against and after drinking champage with her friends, wearing pink wellies she hops on. Horse bucked, she came off, and she claimed against the (previous) owner.
Own bl**dy fault, yes, but it doesn't stop claims being made!
 

Pearlsasinger

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I wouldn't be worrying about the gate - that's up to A & B to sort out, and as B is hospital, it falls to A. I'd be asking 'who is going to pay the vet bill?'.
I'm another one who only lets other people ride my horse when accompanied, either by me or my sister. Then if the worst happens at least I know I'll hear the truth about what happened.
Are A & B both over 18? As this could make a difference to liability.
 

RunToEarth

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[ QUOTE ]
For goodness sake, a gate costs about £80 - £100, depending on how wide you need it to be. Just pay the farmer for a new one and get the money back off her later when she's better. Its barely out of the excess...

[/ QUOTE ]
Wooden gates cost upwards of £600, most costing around £800 for a solid, decent farm gate. Assuming it is a standard, machinery sized gate?
 

Rudey

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Swimming in coffee....
Reading through everyone elses responses, I find myself agreeing with them all, which is no use or ornament to you!
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It is an extremely difficult situation to be in. Personally, in my eyes, you are NOT responsible/liable in anyway because rider B was NOT given consent to ride your horse on this occasion, regardless if (s)he has ridden your horse previously.

As for the gate, I agree the farmer should be kept sweet and paid as quickly as possible, HOWEVER, if you pay up, it will indicate that you are accepting liability for your horse damaging it, not the said rider(s). May cause implications if rider B tries to sue you....
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THEN.... your poor horse, personally I would get the riders to pay up on principle of the matter as the horse was in Rider A's care when the accident happened. Having said that, if they can't/won't pay for it, and if you have insurance, claim the vets fees off the insurance and ask them to pay your excess.
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Difficult and awkward situation to be in. I must say, there' a lesson to be learnt for all of us from your experience!!
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Healing vibes for your horse, I hope any injury is superficial. I hope Rider B makes a good recovery too, no doubt she will have learnt her lesson too! xx
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Mike007

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
For goodness sake, a gate costs about £80 - £100, depending on how wide you need it to be. Just pay the farmer for a new one and get the money back off her later when she's better. Its barely out of the excess...

[/ QUOTE ]
Wooden gates cost upwards of £600, most costing around £800 for a solid, decent farm gate. Assuming it is a standard, machinery sized gate?

[/ QUOTE ]Wooden farm gates are nowhere near that expensive.
 
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