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Holidaymaker who lost hair after riding accident settles claim

A 50-year-old insurance broker who lost his hair and eyebrows after being thrown from a horse while on holiday in Morocco has settled his claim against his tour operator, Sunway Travel Ltd of Dublin.

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David Jameson of Dun Laoghaire told the court that his hair began to fall out “in clumps” around eight weeks after he was thrown from the horse while on holiday in April 2006.

Mr Jameson said he sustained injures to his neck, shoulder and lower back in the riding accident and some weeks later began losing his hair and then eventually his eyebrows and eyelashes – symptoms of alopecia.

The tour operator Sunway Travel Ltd denied the claim and countered that Mr Jameson was guilty of contributory negligence as he should have know the inherent dangers involved in horse riding.

Mr Jameson and his family were given information about riding excursions at a ranch near their holiday accommodation and all were given riding helmets before setting out on the ride. Mr Jameson said he wore his riding helmet, but was reluctant to take part in the activity, as he had no riding experience.

Mr Jameson said that is mount was a highly strung, thoroughbred stallion, which reared up after a Shetland pony appeared on the path ahead and the teenage riding assistant holding the reins let go of them.

Mr Jameson told the court that at the start of the ride he had been apprehensive about riding the horse he was allocated:

“I said, ‘I am not going to get on that horse’, but the man had broken English and he motioned that it was fine," he said.

Mr Jameson’s two children had asked him to join them on the ride and he told the court that he did not wish to "spoil the party."

Mr Jameson said if he had not been wearing a riding helmet, he would have been killed. He suffered weeks of pain and was not able to run marathons as a result of his injuries – previously he had run around 100 miles a week.

The case was settled-out-of court as it resumed at the High Court on Tuesday (10/07/12).

Dated: 13/07/2012

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