Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Bury St Edmunds: Horse and carriage rides had ‘basic staffing levels,’ inquest into death of Carole Bullett hears

09:10 10 October 2012

The scene at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds after an incident involving a horse and carriage at the annual country fair

The scene at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds after an incident involving a horse and carriage at the annual country fair

Archant

A FORMER horse and carriage rides operator has revealed a fifth person was expected to be helping with the attraction at a country show the day a woman was fatally injured by one of his horses.

Carole Bullett, 57, of Clark Walk, Bury St Edmunds, died from serious chest injuries at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge shortly after being knocked down at the Nowton Park Country Fair in June last year.

Duncan Drye, who ran the horse and carriage rides which the horse, Lucas, was involved with, gave evidence yesterday at the inquest into Mrs Bullett’s death.

He said he had expected his step-daughter to help out, but she had a commitment which left four people on the attraction: himself, his wife Amanda, Sally Tyrrell and her mother Sue.

He said: “I would not have gone beyond one person per horse. I was on the basic level of staffing. I would’ve liked to have had one more person. I would’ve like to have had more.”

The inquest heard how when Mr Drye operated the rides at the Greene King food and drink festival in May last year - which is also visited by thousands of people - he had six members of staff.

Mr Drye, who had been driving horses since the age of eight, was asked by St Edmundsbury Borough Council to run the rides at the country fair after the authority’s usual operator, Nigel Oakley, of Rede Hall Farm, was unavailable.

The inquest heard how Mr Drye prepared a health and safety statement for John Smithson, from the borough council, covering areas such as dangers to staff, the general public and passengers.

In retrospect, Mr Drye said a bigger safety gap between the rides and the stalls areas “would have been useful”.

The inquest heard how a risk assessment document had been prepared, which was signed by Mr Smithson, but Mr Drye said he did not recognise the form, adding he had no expertise in that area.

It revealed a score of six for carriage rides which means additional control measures were identified as being required, but Mr Drye, who used to run horse and carriage rides in Bury town centre, said he was “never” informed of this.

The inquest also heard that he was not acquainted with guidelines by the Department for Transport, the British Driving Society and the Highway Code regarding horse-drawn vehicles.

But he said he did refer to the bylaws of a council in the region which said a horse had to be at least three years old to be harnessed to a carriage. French records show Lucas - which was a Breton horse - would have been four in about June last year.

The inquest also heard that Mr Drye and Sally Tyrrell, who worked for him, disagreed over whether he instructed her to remove the bridle from Lucas.

He said: “I’m not 100% about many things, but I never told her to take a bridle off a horse attached to a carriage.”

Miss Tyrrell, who Mr Drye deemed to be an experienced driver, had been the driver for the horse and carriage rides with Lucas at the Nowton Park event.

However she had told the inquest she had never been on a formal training course or assessment for driving a horse and carriage.

Related articles

0 comments

The Trotters Pig

Everyone has a favourite piggy - but which one is it?

Possible views for the new Cornhill in the heart of Ipswich.

A free wifi area could be created in the heart of Ipswich when the Cornhill is rebuilt over the next two years, it has emerged.

Martin Myerscough's Frugalpac cup

A Suffolk entrepreneur could soon be supplying his eco-friendly invention to the world’s largest coffee chain, after grabbing industry attention for his answer to an environmental problem.

Alexander Baxter, owner of gentleman’s accessory firm Baxter & Baxter

A 22-year-old fashion designer who left his day job to build a brand from the ground up has seen his accessories paraded on the red carpet.

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

Britain is set to get its first new nuclear power station in generations as EDF’s directors approve investment in Hinkley Point.

Ipswich Hospital

Hundreds of working days were lost at Suffolk’s largest hospital through psychological issues last month, prompting an investigation into the possible link between staff overtime and stress.

The A1071 between Ipswich and Hintlesham.

There was heavy traffic on the A1071 in Hintlesham this evening due to a number of different crashes.

Tess carried a faulty BRCA2 gene, which greatly increases the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

The family of a 24-year-old woman from Ipswich who has died of cancer have paid tribute to her “strength” and “bravery” as she was determined to live life to the full despite the devastating diagnosis.

The Aldeburgh Carnival Queen for 2016 has been chosen

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a seaside procession, a great British fete or a laid back music festival - and all of these happen in abundance on the Suffolk Coast.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the Notcutts & Adnams garden. Picture: Ian Burt

Two Suffolk family businesses joined forces at Sandringham Flower Show to create a garden called Happy and Glorious, inspired by the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24