Bury St Edmunds: Runaway horse could have been frightened by barking dog

A RUNAWAY horse and carriage that ran over a grandmother at a Suffolk showground could have been “frightened” by a barking dog, an inquest has heard.

Carole Bullett, 57, of Clark Walk, Bury St Edmunds, died from serious chest injuries in hospital, shortly after being knocked down at the Nowton Park Country Fair in June 2011.

Yesterday, in the second day of an inquest into the death of the partially-sighted Wedgewood House worker, witnesses said the four-year-old Breton horse, which had been giving rides to visitors, “threw his head back and ran” after a bull-terrier began barking nearby.

Walter Clelland, who was at the event with his family, said he had walked towards the horses to ask about prices just after 4pm. He described how a dog owner had pulled their muzzled pet away from someone who was trying to stroke it.

“Then the dog saw the horses and got spooked and started barking.

“I think it frightened the horse with the carriage,” Mr Clelland added.

The witness said the horse then moved off at speed, heading south to the car park before “charging” back down Lime Avenue towards stalls and Mrs Bullett.

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The inquest was told on Monday that the horses at the fair had been operated by Duncan Drye and Sally Tyrell and that moments before the incident Miss Tyrell had replaced Lucas’ bridle with a lighter head collar.

Yesterday witnesses described how a horse being controlled by a young woman appeared “agitated” and “not happy”.

Vicky Bond told the jury that as she walked past a horse and carriage there was a woman by the horse’s head and another woman by the carriage.

She added: “I heard one woman say ‘he’s not behaving himself’ or ‘he’s not happy’ or words to that effect.”

Ms Bond said she decided not to go on the ride and walked towards the car park.

She told the inquest that moments later she heard a “commotion” and turned round to see the young girl “trying to hold on” to the horse before it bolted.

Ms Bond told the inquest that the girl was on the phone saying: “Get back here, Lucas has gone mad.”