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Horse trainer fined $327k after accident which left teenage employee tetraplegic

Caroline Williams21:01, Aug 16 2019
 
Sophia Malthus broke her neck when she was thrown from a racehorse in November 2016.
BEVAN READ
Sophia Malthus broke her neck when she was thrown from a racehorse in November 2016.

An Auckland horse trainer has been ordered to pay $372,000 after an accident which left his teenage employee tetraplegic.

Stephen John McKee failed to ensure the health and safety of a teenage girl he employed as a stable hand in November 2016, a ruling at the Auckland District Court found on Friday.

The woman, believed to be 19-year-old Sophia Malthus, told Stuff in 2017 she had broken her neck in the accident, and lost all sensation below her collarbone

The horse she was riding bolted while they galloped around a practice track, and gathered "more and more" speed before the force threw them off the track.

The horse went through a fence, while Malthus landed on the track.

Malthus had been training as a jockey at the stable, near Ardmore, for six months before the accident, but had never ridden a racing-fit racehorse.

A Work Safe investigation found McKee, who had over 30 years experience in the industry, had not established whether the teenager was competent to ride a race horse.

Head of specialist interventions Simon Humphries said the stable hand's riding ability should have been assessed on more "suitable" horses, and McKee should have been aware of the hazards and risks.

"There was no formal training to monitor, supervise and progress from her stable hand to riding a racehorse.

"This young woman's life has been drastically affected and the incident serves as a reminder to employers that they must always ensure staff are capable of the job at hand."

Malthus previously told Stuff she did not hold a grudge against the horse, which had fully recovered from the accident.

McKee was charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. He was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $110,000 and $262,000 for consequential loss.

 

Stuff

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Too much sympathy for Sticko imo. Even the name of this thread is more about him than her. Whether or not Steven was guilty, and it sounds like he was it is definitely the case that a stack of trainers have been in the past and will be in future. Hopefully this wakes others up and nothing like this happens again.

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On 8/17/2019 at 9:33 AM, Sickopunter said:

Too much sympathy for Sticko imo. Even the name of this thread is more about him than her. Whether or not Steven was guilty, and it sounds like he was it is definitely the case that a stack of trainers have been in the past and will be in future. Hopefully this wakes others up and nothing like this happens again.

Thats a i piss poor post from sicko.

Say you are a trainer and a young person comes asking for a job and an apprenticeship even. You ask about experience the YP has had and are told its done pony club for years so you put it on Quiet ones on the exercise track. But being animal of flight none are 100% safe. If the person has done pony club for years and wants to be a jockey you could assume the rider had got out of a canter.

So who messed up the pony club or the trainer. Because you can get done for a rider having an accident and being found the rider had the not galloped a horse experience. How can you get experience of galloping a horse without doing that? So the first time a horse is galloped and it goes through a fence and the rider is injured then that person in charge liable? OSH think so.

Its not like a car where you can have instruction with dual controls and learner plates.

The intention of OSH is to bully down accidents by being grossly punitive in high claim industry.

Cases happen when the unfortunate take a huge hit to set an example for the careless

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I believe your use of the word “assumed”, ruined any point you may have been trying to make.

Given this matter occurred some time ago, could someone who is a member of the Trainers Association, please post the information and suggestions that trainers undertake when employing a new stablehand, who by chance, may ride an animal at a dangerous speed. Surely this would be the least being done?

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Thats a pathetic posting from you Nerula. 

I don't think Stephen Mckee would be expecting any sympathy for himself. In fact he pleaded guilty and the judge also thought he was guilty.

The simple explanation is that Stephen was hugely negligent. 95% of the time he would have got away with it. 

Nerula. There is a huge difference going from pony club to galloping untractable thoroughbreds. Hey you must have been a rider sometime could someone find you a horse to gallop at the track. By the way don't forget the helmet not that it will do you much good. I'll arrange the ambulance.

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The only way it is possible to mitigate the penalty is to plead guilty, as a guilty verdict is inevitable. That is so, as the charge of 'failing to take sufficient care to prevent an injury causing -----" is self proving, as that injury did indeed occur. Osh cant lose! 

I would advise you never to be the employer of anyone, unless you have broad insurance to cover such a gross injury event, lest you take a hit. Then you carry the verdict for life.

Dont think I am uncaring of the injured as the charity I support is Catwalk Trust. I am acutely aware that Equine activities create a high incidence of SCI.

 

 

 

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The fact is it could have happened many times but we need to remember a beautiful young girl has had  her life changed forever.i knew t g Williams and it's very very tough.focus now on the girl.it makes me sick to hear people blame her.steve one of the world's great guys.he would have taken it hard.

Horse are unpredictable.ita a dangerous game.blame at this stage won't help.

We all have to try and make the game as safe as we can.

 

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On 8/18/2019 at 10:45 AM, Nerula said:
On 8/17/2019 at 9:33 AM, Sickopunter said:

tack of trainers have been in the past and will be in future. Hopefully this wakes others up and nothing like this happens again.

Thats a i piss poor post from sicko.

Say you are a trainer and a young person comes asking for a job and an apprenticeship even. You ask about experience the YP has had and are told its done pony club for years so you put it on Qu

 

On 8/18/2019 at 10:45 AM, Nerula said:

Thats a i piss poor post from sicko.

Say you are a trainer and a young person comes asking for a job and an apprenticeship even. You ask about experience the YP has had and are told its done pony club for years so you put it on Quiet ones on the exercise track. But being animal of flight none are 100% safe. If the person has done pony club for years and wants to be a jockey you could assume the rider had got out of a canter. 

So who messed up the pony club or the trainer. Because you can get done for a rider having an accident and being found the rider had the not galloped a horse experience. How can you get experience of galloping a horse without doing that? So the first time a horse is galloped and it goes through a fence and the rider is injured then that person in charge liable? OSH think so. 

Its not like a car where you can have instruction with dual controls and learner plates. 

The intention of OSH is to bully down accidents by being grossly punitive in high claim industry.

Cases happen when the unfortunate take a huge hit to set an example for the careless 

 

On 8/18/2019 at 10:45 AM, Nerula said:

Thats a i piss poor post from sicko.

Say you are a trainer and a young person comes asking for a job and an apprenticeship even. You ask about experience the YP has had and are told its done pony club for years so you put it on Quiet ones on the exercise track. But being animal of flight none are 100% safe. If the person has done pony club for years and wants to be a jockey you could assume the rider had got out of a canter. 

So who messed up the pony club or the trainer. Because you can get done for a rider having an accident and being found the rider had the not galloped a horse experience. How can you get experience of galloping a horse without doing that? So the first time a horse is galloped and it goes through a fence and the rider is injured then that person in charge liable? OSH think so. 

Its not like a car where you can have instruction with dual controls and learner plates. 

The intention of OSH is to bully down accidents by being grossly punitive in high claim industry.

Cases happen when the unfortunate take a huge hit to set an example for the careless 

Explain why its a piss poor post.

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