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Horse plunge rider wins damages claim

‘I kept shouting ‘Whoa’ like they do in Westerns, but it didn’t work’

An Edinburgh riding school has been ordered to pay damages to a pupil who was thrown from his horse on an executive day out.

Medical sales rep Nilesh Ladwa, 44, won £12,500 damages from Marjory McNaughton’s Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding School after breaking his arm when he plunged from the horse into a bed of nettles.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh was told that Nilesh from Birmingam was in Edinburgh to attend his firm Bio Products’ annual conference in 2002.

The visit to the riding school was planned as a bit of light relief from the business of the conference.

But Nilesh said: “It turned into a really frightening experience.

“I had never been on a horse and I was a bit apprehensive.

We had been told we the beginner would have an hour’s tuition, and some riding in the ring before being taken out on a gentle walk.

“But all they did was tell us to pull the right rein to turn right, the left rein to turn left and both reins to stop.

“Then they took us out on a trek. My boss nearly fell off when his horse stumbled going over a shallow river.

“Then the two riding school people broke into trot, but none of us could handle it and they had to slow down.

He added: “I wanted to stop but they told me I would be fine. I couldn’t even get off because nobody had showed me how.

“It’s only when you get up on a horse that you realise how high up you are.”

The accident happened when the horses stopped briefly in a clearing.

The group moved off but Hogan, Nilesh’s horse was busy eating grass, and then charged after the group to catch up.

Nilesh added: “I kept yelling ‘Whoa boy’ the way they do in Westerns, but it had no effect.

“”I was bouncing about like a sack of potatoes, but there was nothing I could do.

“Then my foot came free and I was thrown off into a bed of nettles.

“I was only wearing a t-shirt so at first the nettle stings were really sore.

“I tried to move my arm, but my hand was dangling and then the real pain kicked in, and I realised I was badly hurt.”

Nilesh who is married with two children, spent two nights in hospital, and was off work for ten weeks.

Frank Maguire of Thompsons, the solicitors who represented Nilesh said: “We argued that the riding school had failed to provide adequate instruction, and that the guides who accompanied his party should never have allowed the horses to go at such speed.”

The Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding School is at Kevock Road, Lasswade, Edinburgh.


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FBU Scotland in association with Thompsons Personal Injury Solicitors.