A sheriff has ruled that nothing could have been done to prevent an accident which resulted in a champion horse rider’s death.
Sheriff Brian Mohan made the comments during a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Natasha Galpin’s death in January 2019.
The 22-year-old was riding Eagle Crag when it suddenly suffered a haemorrhage after rupturing an artery between its throat and ear.
She was thrown off her horse and sustained serious head injuries.
Ms Galpin was then rushed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow but never regained consciousness.
She passed away at the hospital on January 16 and medics concluded that her death was a consequence of a brain haemorrhage.
In a written judgement issued at Dumfries Sheriff Court on Thursday, Sheriff Mohan said he’d examined the circumstances surrounding Ms Galpin’s death.
He said he couldn’t find anything which would have prevented the accident from taking place.
Sheriff Mohan passed on his condolence to Ms Galpin’s family and wrote: “Natasha Galpin’s parents are devastated by the loss of their daughter at such a young age. She was on the cusp of adulthood.
“Her death was sudden, and she died doing something she loved.
“Natasha died as the result of a tragic, immediate, unforeseen and unforeseeable accident.
“The riding of horses carries risks, but the evidence demonstrated that there was no foreseeable risk which could have avoided this tragedy, and no step which could have been taken realistically to prevent this.
“I would like to express my condolences to the family of Ms Galpin and my thanks for the hard work and detailed preparation of the solicitors who participated at the hearing.
“My conclusion is that Natasha’s death was the result of a tragic, unpreventable accident.”
Ms Galpin worked at the stables at the Dumfries-based Iain Jardine Racing Limited.
She was riding the grass gallops at her employer’s facility when the accident took place.
Sheriff Mohan said medical records for Eagle Crag didn’t disclose the animal to be in poor health. The horse had previously competed at Kelso in December 2018.
He also said the evidence showed that investigations carried out by Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive couldn’t find any faults at Ms Galpin’s workplace.
Sheriff Mohan added: “Reference is made above to the focus of those enquiries; none of these raised specific concerns about the background circumstances.”