A Taranaki woman suffered fatal injuries when her horse kicked her in the head as she was removing his cover, the coroner has found.
Carla Lee Morgan, 32, of Hawera, died at Taranaki Base Hospital on December 3, 2011 of acute head injuries caused by her five-year-old horse Fred kicking out at her with both back legs, Coroner Carla na Nagara said in her decision released yesterday.
Morgan was put on life support but did not recover.
An experienced horse woman, Morgan had taken a pony into the paddock to overnight with her horse and another called Lucy.
The other horses were all on edge because of the pony's arrival. At one stage Fred had kicked Lucy in the head and was told off by Morgan.
Morgan, who was with another horse owner in the paddock, Renee Thomas, had been removing the back strap of Fred's cover when he kicked out with both back legs, striking her in the head.
''She stood there for a few seconds and then dropped to the ground,'' the coroner said.
Thomas screamed out for help and others came to help carrying out resuscitation until an ambulance arrived.
Morgan was taken to the emergency department at Hawera Hospital then on to Taranaki Base Hospital but died shortly after arrival.
The autopsy found an acute head injury with bleeding around the brain.
There was also a lesser injury to the chest area.
''While the horse had earlier been upset and aggressive seemingly at the introduction of a new pony to the paddock he appeared to have calmed down and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Mrs Morgan had done anything to startle or un-nerve the horse as she removed his cover, something she had done countless times before,'' the coroner said, ruling the death was the result of an accident.
- Taranaki Daily News