Woman thrown from horse at Castle Leslie awarded €52,000

Jacqueline Whelan was injured in a fall when the horse she was riding was startled by a dog

Jacqueline Whelan was knocked unconscious for a short period after a fall while horse  riding at the Castle Leslie estate. Photograph: Getty

Jacqueline Whelan was knocked unconscious for a short period after a fall while horse riding at the Castle Leslie estate. Photograph: Getty

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A woman thrown from a horse at the Castle Leslie estate in Co Monaghan when a dog ran across her path has been awarded €52,000 damages in the High Court.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said Jacqueline Whelan suffered a nasty injury as a result of the fall while on a weekend break at the estate.

He said Ms Whelan was knocked unconscious for a short period and had pain in her lower back area afterwards.

The main area of concern was the extensive area of bruising which became infected and Ms Whelan developed a blister, he said.

He accepted Ms Whelan’s evidence she experienced considerable pain and discomfort during this period after the incident.

Ms Whelan (45) Ballyhays, Co Kildare, had sued Castle Leslie Equestrian Holidays Ltd, owner of Castle Leslie, Glaslough, as a result of the incident on February 13th, 2016 when the horse she was riding became startled by a dog and reared up, causing her to be thrown to the ground.

She alleged failure to mount her on a suitably quiet and reliable horse given her level of inexperience.

She also alleged failure to ensure the horseriding activity would take place in an area or along a route where the horses were not likely to be startled or upset by dogs or other interferences.

She further claimed failure to provide her with an approved back protector and to ensure she wore that when riding.

Liability was not at issue and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Mr Justice Barr said Ms Whelan has also been left with three areas of blemishes on her left buttock.

While those were not serious cosmetic blemishes, she will have to live with them for the rest of her life, he said.

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