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Owners of a trekking centre in Knaresborough have pleaded guilty to a health and safety offence after a young girl was bitten by a horse.

The 11-year-old suffered a serious bite to the arm when walking past a stable door at Little Pastures Trekking Centre and required reconstructive surgery.

After viewing CCTV footage of the bite, a judge found that, whilst the defendant had made some attempts to rope off the horse, the precautions were not sufficient to prevent the bite.

The two owners of the trekking centre pleaded guilty at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Friday 10th September.

The investigation was carried out by Harrogate Borough Council’s legal services and environmental health teams following a complaint from the victim’s family.

Councillor Mike Chambers said:

“Customers of Little Pastures Trekking Centre should be safe in the knowledge that by visiting the trekking centre they will not be subject to injury or trauma.

“This incident, that has physically harmed an 11-year-old, should never have happened and it is only right that we investigate thoroughly and take appropriate action to ensure it never happens again.

“The result should come as a reminder for all businesses that engage with the public that health and safety is paramount.”

The owners, Mrs Jocelyn Fletcher-Bryan and Mr Roy Bryan, accepted that the horse was ‘grumpy’ and revealed the horse ‘gets territorial and snaps when people are too close’.

The judge sentenced them both to a £3,000 fine, £170 victim surcharge and costs of £2,500 to the borough council. In total, they have been fined £11,340.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.