A MEMBER of Bolton and District Riding Club was fatally injured when a horse “freaked out” and began thrashing around in the back of a transporter, an inquest heard.

Peter McGuire, aged 51, was travelling with his wife Marie and daughter, Zoe, along the A56, near Edenfield, with the girl’s horse Hedgehog, when he sensed there were problems with the transporter.

Burnley Coroner’s Court heard Mr McGuire parked in a layby to check on the horse. His wife, Marie, said when he went into the horsebox he could see internal partitions had been kicked off, but the horse appeared to be calm.

But when Mr McGuire approached the animal, Hedgehog appeared to “freak out” and kicked out.

The inquest heard Mr McGuire appeared to have suffered a broken leg but his wife was unable to move him because of his size and positioning within the horsebox. Hedgehog began to move backwards and Mrs McGuire was forced outside the horsebox.

She heard her husband say “calm down” to the horse before two loud noises, then silence.

The court was told when Mrs McGuire looked back into the horsebox, there was a significant amount of blood and Mr McGuire was slumped to one side. Mrs McGuire, who was kicked in the head and chest by the horse, said: “I had to get out of there because I feared for my life.”

Sgt Mick Young, a road policing officer, alerted a vet who sedated the animal before Mr McGuire’s body could be retrieved.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard bank manager Mr McGuire, of Middleton, had been travelling to Croft Top Equestrian Centre on October 31, last year.

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor said the cause of Mr McGuire's death was head injuries. He recorded a verdict of accident death