The angels took my racehorse away: Can spectators bring a claim for psychiatric injury following an equestrian death on the track?

Charlie Howe


While horse racing is one of the oldest of all sports, death and injury is an inherent risk for both the jockeys and the horses that take part. In Britain alone, there have been 816 on-course horse fatalities caused predominantly through collision with fences and/or the over-exhaustion of the horses. Not only do these incidents have distressing consequences for the horse, its owner and any trainers, but seeing this happen whilst watching the event could cause torment and sadness to the spectators. This paper will explore whether a claim can be made for psychiatric injuries following a horse and/or jockey becoming injured during the race, and what implications this might have.

Keywords: Horse-racing, Psychological Trauma, Event Management, Spectators, Negligence, Companion Animals

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