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Horse rider injured after fall seeks £5m from dog owner

A rider is suing a dog owner for £5m after his West Highland terrier spooked his horse on a seaside inflicting him to maintain life-changing accidents in a fall.

Dutch monetary advisor Lourens Koetsier suffered a extreme spinal damage and now makes use of a wheelchair when he was thrown from the horse throughout a guided journey on a seaside in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 2018.

Mr Koetsier, who was on vacation together with his spouse, claims the accident occurred as a result of the unleashed West Highland terrier referred to as Max ran beneath the horse, spooking it into bucking and throwing him to the bottom. He is now suing Max’s owner, David Clifford Thomas, for £5m on the High Court in London and claims the dog ought to have been on a lead.

Mr Thomas, who advised the court docket that he has owned Max since he was a pet, has denied legal responsibility, saying that there isn’t any motive in charge his “small, elderly and gentle” dog for the accident. He added that there was no requirement for his dog to be on a lead whereas on the seaside as native bylaws enable canine to run freely.

On the day of the incident in 2018, Mr Koetsier had joined the journey organized by Nolton Stables in Haverfordwest, taking riders alongside the mile-long Druidston Haven seaside. The court docket was knowledgeable that Mr Koetsier is an skilled horse rider and owned a pony as a baby and competed as an grownup. He rode Dutch warmblood sport horses from when he was a youngster till his forties.

Lawyers for Mr Koetsier mentioned that the riders noticed Mr Thomas’s dog working off its lead on the sand and as they started a second canter Max ran barking in the direction of the group from behind. Mr Koetsier’s horse, Bonfire, was stationary when the small white dog went beneath him from behind, Matthew Chapman QC mentioned in written submissions. “Bonfire reacted explosively to the presence of the dog,” Mr Chapman mentioned. The horse’s head went down “while he jumped from the ground and flung up his hind legs in a violent and propulsive buck”.

The claimant alleges a white West Highland Terrier is accountable for spooking his horse ensuing within the fall

(PA)

The rider was “violently propelled out of the saddle, over Bonfire and on to the ground. The claimant landed on or about the top of his head and suffered catastrophic personal injury.” The incident left Mr Koetsier experiencing spasms and restricted using his hand which his authorized staff mentioned has “substantially impaired” his mobility and skill to look after himself. He now makes use of a wheelchair when exterior – however he can stroll brief distances with a body, his attorneys mentioned.

Andrew Arentsen, the barrister representing Mr Thomas, mentioned there was no motive for the dog to have been on a lead as Druidston seaside is recurrently utilized by dog walkers to train pets freely. He denied that the terrier was aggressive and mentioned “Max has always been a friendly, gentle and social dog”.

Mr Koetsier can be suing the business that owns the stables, LJP Owen, for allegedly permitting the group to journey a second time after Max had been working off his lead. “The claimant is an experienced rider and had, up until the point when he was thrown, been able to control and manage Bonfire during the course of the ride,” Mr Chapman advised the court docket.

Appearing for LJP Owen, Charles Woodhouse advised the court docket that Bonfire was comfy round canine. The company, which serves 6,000 clients a year, retains canine unfastened on the stables so horses can acclimatise to them and any which aren’t comfy round canine could be bought.

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