Opinion-Re Rachel King

Re Rachel King


  1. Miss Rachel King, is 16 years old, was an ambitious to be an international showjumper. She learned to ride horse by the age of 11 and was quite proficient. As she wanted to be a professional showjumper, she needs to learn more about the riding techniques which are specific to showjumping.Therefore, her father asked Roger Phillips, who is well known in this field, to give her coaching though he agreed but would charge 50$ per hour. Eventually, they have agreed verbally over the telephone but not resulted in writing.
  2. On  6th July, she asked Roger to give her a coaching session to prepare her in order for a County Championship which was due to take place on Saturday 13th July 2002. He then told her to do some useful practice at the Forge House Stables, but she thought it would be better to practice onto the neighboring land. She therefore decided to go there in taking a shortcut through some other fields.They started to gallop at quite a speed and she could see a gate ahead. She decided to jump the hedge next to the gate rather than Thunderbolt (her pony) to open the gate. As a result there was an accident and both were injured.The injury she suffered such as a broken leg, a broken arm, a bit of headache and slightly blurred vision.The pony had to destroy due to his nasty leg break.

I am asked to advise on liability whether Mr King can recover damages from Mr Roger in order to his daughter’s personal injury and on the relevance of Miss King’s admission in her statement.In my opinion it is somewhat unlikely that Mr King would have a good claim against Mr Roger, but I think he would probably succeed in recovering damages in respect of Miss king’s injuries though further information is needed to come with concrete conclusion.


  1. The injuries she has suffered due to Roger’s negligent teaching gives rise to a duty of care because the relationship between Mr Roger and Miss King is such that it is obvious that a lack of care creates a risk of harm (by the law as one of ‘proximity’or ‘neighbourhood’).Clearly, the situation is one in which the court would consider it is fair, just and reasonable that the law should impose a duty as the duty of care has been broken in order for failing to secure her safety and failing to provide her reasonable training with care.
  2. Roger failed to supervise her reasonably at the time of the accident  as she was under his supervision ,which had caused her serious injury and the pony had to destroy as a result of its nasty break. He is an experience coach so expected to take reasonable steps to minimise the risks at least those are foreseeable. In fact, he could have gone to the neighboring land by a public road instead of taking a shortcut through some other fields. Further, he was very careless about the speed of riding even he knew that they were riding in the fields have got many obstacles. Nevertheless, if he would have taken steps to minimise the risks, there wouldn’t have  neither  the accident nor the suffering of Miss King due to injury. There is therefore a very good chance that he will be liable for Miss King’s injury, which were a foreseeable consequence of his negligence.
  3. It is unclear whether Mr Roger could have measured both the risk of possibility to be injured and the capability of her jumping. To decide it needs to consider how much time he had to minimize the risk of her jumping and judge the situation. Further, it is not clear whether the accident was in their contracting coaching session. Therefore, I need at least above  information to come with concrete conclusion.
  4. However, I must advise Mr  King that there is most likely to be a finding of contributory negligence against her daughter, on the basis of deciding to practice onto the neighboring land and deciding to jump the hedge .It could in  my view be as much as 65%.