Former Coolmore Stud groom settles case over kick from mare

Michael Power sued for injury to left arm from kick by horse just mated with stallion

A former stallion groom at Coolmore Stud who claimed his life was devastated by a kick from a mare has settled his High Court action on undisclosed terms. File photograph: Thinkstockphoto

A former stallion groom at Coolmore Stud who claimed his life was devastated by a kick from a mare has settled his High Court action on undisclosed terms. File photograph: Thinkstockphoto

 

A former stallion groom at Coolmore Stud who claimed his life was devastated by a kick from a mare has settled his High Court action on undisclosed terms.

Michael Power (46) sued Linley Investments, t/a Coolmore-Castlehyde and Associated Farms, Fethard, Co Tipperary, over an injury to his left arm from a kick from the mare which had just been mated with a stallion in a “covering shed” on March 4th 2010.

The defendant denied his claims, argued he was “entirely responsible” for his own safety and was guilty of contributory negligence.

Following talks, Turlough O’Donnell SC, with Jonathan Kilfeather SC told Mr Justice Michael Hanna he was happy to say the matter had be settled and could be struck out.

Mr Justice Hanna said he was sure the parties were “superbly advised” in this “exceptionally complex” case.

When the case opened last week, the court heard Mr Power was claiming, as a result of alleged lack of a proper safety system for the “covering” procedure at the stud, he has been unable to work since due to his arm being “essentially useless”.

Mr Power, who lives on a house on the Coolmore estate with his wife and two children, was between the front of the stallion and the hindquarters of the mare after the covering had taken place in a shed when the mare kicked out.

His counsel, Mr O’Donnell, said one of the central issues for the court to consider was whether there was gross negligence in that the mare was not moved forward and away while his client was dealing with the stallion.

The incident, captured on CCTV, was “an accident waiting to happen”, counsel said.

Mr Power was in charge of the stallion, Fastnet Rock, while two others were in charge of the mare, Maryiriski.

Covering is dangerous in that Mr Power has to ensure the stallion does not harm the mare or other people from, for instance, biting, counsel said. The covering was completed and what should have occurred was the mare would be moved forward and would be out of kicking range if the system worked properly, he said.

That did not happen and the mare kicked out, counsel said. Mr Power put up his left arm to protect himself and while initially it was clear there was a serious fracture of is arm, it later turned out to be a devastating injury.