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Rider killed after being thrown from horse

a young man died when the horse he was riding fell, throwing him head-first to the ground, an inquest heard.

Colin Guinan (25), of Main Street, Banagher, Co Offaly, suffered fatal head injuries in the fall in July 17 year.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard he was returning from a ride when the horse became spooked and fell on a road in Lusmagh, near the family's stables.

His brother, Jonathan Guinan, told the coroner he had been riding the same horse for half-an-hour when Colin came up to the stables to ask if he could help with anything.

He said he asked Colin to walk the horse to cool its muscles.

"He had years of experience over a lot of terrain that would be difficult," he said.

About 15 minutes after Colin headed off, two friends came to the farm to tell Jonathan that he had been in an accident.

The accident, which happened at around 6.30pm, was witnessed by several people including Bill Rooney, who did not appear in court but whose deposition was read into the record.


He said he was driving on the road when he noticed Colin on the horse and remarked that the animal was "very giddy".

"Within a few seconds of saying that, the horse took off and started galloping up the road. It appeared that something had spooked it," he told gardai.

Colin was trying to control and calm the horse but as it began to turn, it lost its footing and fell.

"I saw the rider fall and hit his head. He wasn't wearing any head protection," said Mr Rooney. "As the horse got up the rider hit his head again. The first time was on the right side of his head and the second was face-on.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of accidental death.