A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the workings of Kentucky’s equine activity law. This is how a somewhat similar equine-related personal injury claim was handled in England.

Nadine Turnbull was exercising “Gem,” a 7-year-old Arabian gelding owned by a friend, when the horse suddenly bolted, ran across a field, and dashed through a gap in a hedge. Gem then tossed Turnbull onto a paved highway and she suffered a serious head injury in the fall. She filed a personal injury lawsuit against Gem’s owner, Rebecca Warrener, seeking damages for chronic migraine headaches and other problems allegedly arising from the incident.

Gem was wearing a bitless bridle at the time on the accident. The horse’s teeth had been floated and Gem’s owner did not want to irritate his sore mouth with a traditional bit. There was testimony that Gem had worn the bitless bridle before without problems, but only while walking and trotting in an enclosed training area. On those occasions, and in general apparently, Gem was a well-behaved horse, responsive to his rider’s commands. Turnbull’s injuries occurred the first time that Gem ventured outside without traditional tack.

England’s version of our state equine liability laws is the “Animals Act 1971,” which imposes liability on an animal’s owner for injuries caused by an animal in someÑbut not allÑsituations. Horses, thankfully, don’t fall into the “dangerous species” category of the law. This classification is limited to wild animals likely to cause serious injury unless they are properly restrained. Lions and tigers and bears come to