AN experienced British judge from Woodcote suffered a broken leg after being kicked by a horse while judging at the Balmoral Show in Belfast.
Richard Mills was overseeing the Hunter Supreme Championship alongside Chris Hunnable when the latter’s horse started resisting and whipped round.
Mr Mills told Horse and Hound magazine: “Chris had just got on a horse at the other end of the line and unfortunately mine took me back towards him.
“We both met in the middle and in the confusion the other horse caught me hard above my ankle.
“I tried to carry on at first but soon realised that my foot wouldn’t do what I wanted it to and that I’d better get off.”
He was taken by ambulance from the showground to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital, where X–rays revealed that he had broken his right leg.
He underwent an operation and flew back to England the next day.
Mr Mills said: “It was such a shame, especially as I’d had to turn down my last invitation to judge at the show years ago because it clashed with my horse competing at Royal Windsor.
“It was nobody’s fault, just one of those things. Everyone, especially the show organisers, dealt with the incident very Â professionally.”
Mr Mills, who lives in Beech Lane, is now in plaster from his hip to his ankle and will be out of action for six to eight weeks.
He said: “It has come in the middle of a really busy time and, sadly, means that I will not be able to fulfil my forthcoming judging commitments.”