06 October, 2011
Anyone who keeps a horse knows just how
important it is to be conscious about safety at all times. Not only
to avoid accidents and injuries to yourself and the horse -
but to also ensure that your horse does not harm others.
If your horse is involved in an incident which causes injury or
damage to another person or their property, you could be held
responsible, whether you were present when the accident happened or
This means that if your horse escapes from its paddock onto a
road and causes an accident, you could be held liable and you could
end up footing the bill for any damage caused to the vehicles and
any personal injury claims if someone gets hurt.
The same rules apply if your horse kicks a person or vehicle, or
damages another person or their property in any way, for instance
kicking a walker when they are crossing a field.
An example of where a horse owner was found liable and had to
pay out compensation is the legal case of Mirvahedy v Henley.
Mr Mirvahedy was driving home from work in South Devon when a
horse owned by the Henleys ran across the road and caused a
Mr Mirvahedy suffered serious injuries and claimed that the
Henleys had been negligent in not properly fencing their field.
This argument was rejected by the House of Lords, but they ruled
that the Henleys were liable nonetheless.
There are steps you can take to minimise the risks of your horse
being involved in an accident, like checking all your boundaries
and fences are secure, all gates are locked and any necessary
repairs are made. If your horse is kept at someone else's property,
you should also ensure that they are taking the same
However, even if you have done these things, we would still
strongly advise all horse owners to make sure they have public
liability insurance for their horse, in case the worst
Cornish Mutual has seen large claims made against horse owners
for accidents involving horses, and there have been several high
profile cases where horse owners without insurance have been faced
with huge compensation bills.
Image source: ell brown on www.flickr.com