Berkshire stable girl sues top training yard for £200,000 after being kicked in head by racehorse

A 25-year-old stable girl is suing a top racehorse trainer for over £200,000 after being kicked in the head by a filly she says was so ‘highly strung’ it should have been ‘sedated’ before she rode it.

Maisie Beth Wood claims she was so badly hurt she now needs a walking frame to get around after riding ‘difficult to handle’ Malaguena in Berkshire.

She is now suing trainer William Muir for more than £200,000 at the High Court, claiming the horse should have been drugged before she rode it. 

The thoroughbred had always been sedated previously when taken out, but was not on that day and injured her by bolting when it was ‘spooked,’ she claims. 

She claims she was left seriously hurt in 2018, with a broken jaw and brain damage, affecting her ability to walk, while working at the trainer’s Linkslade stables near Lambourn, Berkshire.

But lawyers for Mr Muir deny liability for the accident, claiming Ms Wood was an experienced rider doing her job and was injured through no fault of his.

William Muir is a successful flat racing trainer, whose stable star Pyledriver won the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom last year.

Stable girl Maisie Beth Wood, pictured with a horse, is suing a top training yard for over £200,000 after being kicked in the head by a racehorse she says was so ‘highly strung’ it ought to have been ‘sedated’ before she rode it

Maisie Beth Wood, 25, says she was so badly hurt she now needs a walking frame to get around after falling from and being kicked by 'highly strung' and 'difficult to handle' filly Malaguena while working for trainer William Muir in 2018

Maisie Beth Wood, 25, says she was so badly hurt she now needs a walking frame to get around after falling from and being kicked by ‘highly strung’ and ‘difficult to handle’ filly Malaguena while working for trainer William Muir in 2018

According to documents filed at the High Court, on the day of the accident Ms Wood had taken Malaguena on a warm-up canter with others on a run known as ‘The Short’ at the 500-acre training ground.

During the ride, the filly moved ‘violently right’ when ‘spooked,’ causing Miss Wood to fall off, roll forwards in the air and land on the top of her head.

She managed to crawl to safety away from following riders and, after Malaguena was caught, a more senior member of staff offered to ‘leg’ her back up into the saddle, her lawyers say.

But while Ms Wood was trying to remount, the horse was ‘very worked up,’ says her solicitor Richard Brooks in court papers.

‘Her nostrils were flaring,’ Mr Brooks says. ‘The horse would not stand still.’

‘The horse was very volatile and did not want to be restrained.’

The agitated horse then bolted as Ms Wood got on, spilling her to the ground again, where she was struck in the head by the filly’s rear foot as she fell.

‘The claimant had no chance to put her feet in the stirrup irons or shorten her reins to be able to control the horse,’ says her lawyer.

‘She had no real prospect of staying on the horse as it accelerated sharply away underneath her and she fell. As she fell the horse kicked her in the head.’

She is now suing trainer William Muir (pictured) for more than £200,000 at the High Court, claiming the horse should have been drugged before she rode it 

Ms Wood says she suffered a fractured mandible and ‘mild traumatic brain injury,’ leading to her suffering repeated seizures which have required hospitalisation.

She also claims has also been left with mobility issues which has left her requiring the use of a walking frame or walking sticks.

Ms Wood’s lawyers claim that, as her employer, Mr Muir owed her a ‘duty to take reasonable care for her safety when carrying out duties in the course of her employment.’

And he breached that duty in that she was caused or permitted ‘to ride the horse without, or without sufficient, sedation’.

It’s also said she was wrongly allowed to re-mount the horse, when it should have been led back to his premises on foot.

She claims she was left seriously hurt in 2018, with a broken jaw and brain damage, affecting her ability to walk, while working at the trainer's Linkslade stables (pictured) near Lambourn, Berkshire

She claims she was left seriously hurt in 2018, with a broken jaw and brain damage, affecting her ability to walk, while working at the trainer’s Linkslade stables (pictured) near Lambourn, Berkshire

William Muir is a successful flat racing trainer, whose stable star Pyledriver won the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom last year.

Defending the claim, lawyers for Mr Muir describe Miss Wood as a ‘competent and experienced rider’ who had ridden Malaguena on several occasions previously.

They also say it would be a ‘reasonable conclusion’ of the other member of staff to decide that Ms Wood could re-mount, as she appeared healthy and said she was ‘okay.’

Mr Muir’s lawyers said the filly did not possess ‘any abnormal and dangerous characteristics’ that would make Mr Muir strictly liable for the injury.

And his barrister Roger Harris added: ‘It is denied that the horse kicked out.

‘The claimant was an experienced rider who was fully aware of the risks of riding racehorses and voluntarily accepted the same.’

Denying any negligence, he adds: ‘There was no requirement on the part of the defendant to sedate the horse.

‘It was reasonable to allow the claimant to remount the horse. The claimant had indicated that she was alright, and she appeared to be coherent and well.

‘At all material times the defendant took reasonable care for the safety of the claimant.’

The case reached the High Court for a short preparatory hearing before judge Master Gary Thornett last week, ahead of a full trial of the claim at a later date.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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