Talgarth woman died after horse 'spooked' by quad bike

A rider fell from her horse and suffered fatal head injuries after it was apparently "spooked" by a quad bike, an inquest has heard.

Sandra Harvey, 67, of Talgarth, near Brecon, Powys, died in hospital eight days after the fall on 7 November last year.

She had been out for a regular early-morning ride with sister Erica Hodges, 70, when the incident happened.

Powys coroner Peter Maddox recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Farmer David Evans told how both horses ridden by the sisters appeared to be spooked as he approached then along a narrow unclassified lane, at Talgarth, leading to a bend.

His quad bike was pulling a trailer with a sheepdog in it and two other dogs were riding on the rear of the bike, which was travelling at 15mph.

Mr Evans stopped when he saw them, he told the inquest in Brecon.

He added: "As soon as I saw them I stopped and they both kind of spooked. One horse turned round and ran down the road.

"As she (Mrs Harvey) got to the farm, she slid off right on to the road and Mrs Harvey, well, she did not move, basically.

"I went to Mrs Harvey first and saw that she was unconscious, then ran to the farmhouse to get some help."

He said that when he found nobody there he ran back and saw Mrs Hodges and asked her to get help, which she did.

In evidence, Mrs Hodges said that she had not seen what had happened because her horse had turned away moments before.

"The quad bike just suddenly appeared round the corner and the horses sort of went 'argh' and stopped dead. Mine spun round and went back the way it came from," she said.

She said that both she and her sister had ridden since they were girls and always wore safety hats.

A post-mortem found Mrs Harvey had died of a fractured skull which caused brain swelling.

Summing up, Mr Maddox said: "The horses were spooked or frightened by something and it seems to me, in all probability, that it was the approach of the quad bike."

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