Jump to: navigation, search

List of horse accidents

This is a list of people and fictional characters who had severe injuries, or died from accidents related to horses. Some of the listed accidents had important political and historical consequences, which are given when relevant.



  • Holbrook Blinn (1872-1928), Broadway stage star & silent screen actor, died from injuries in an accident on the grounds of his estate.
  • Roy Kinnear (1934-1988), British character actor, bled to death due to a broken pelvis sustained in a fall from a horse.
  • Maureen Connolly (1934-1969), tennis star, career ended in 1954 by injuries suffered in a collision between her horse and a truck
  • Cole Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) American composer and songwriter. In a 1937 riding accident his legs were crushed leaving him in chronic pain, largely crippled. (According to a biography by William McBrien and oral history by Brendan Gill.) His right leg was amputated in 1958 as a result of the injury.

Historical figures

  • According to this legend, romanticised by Alexander Pushkin in his celebrated ballad "The Song of the Wise Oleg," it was prophesied by the pagan priests that Oleg of Novgorod (? - 912) would take death from his stallion. Proud of his own foretelling abilities, he sent the horse away. Many years later he asked where his horse was, and was told it had died. He asked to see the remains and was taken to the place where the bones lay. When he touched the horse's skull with his boot a snake slithered from the skull and bit him. Oleg died, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
  • King Afonso I of Portugal (1109-1185), was severely injured in a fall from a horse in 1167 during a battle; he was captured and as ransom, Portugal had to surrender to Castile all conquests made in Galicia in the previous years; they were never again recovered.
  • Afonso, Prince of Portugal (b. 1475) died in 1491 during a ride near the Tagus river.
  • King Alexander III of Scotland, d. 1286, when he and his horse went off the road in the dark, and fell over a cliff; the long term outcome was increased English influence and the First Scottish War of Independence and the immediate result was a regency because heirs were underage or unborn.
  • Al-Aziz - sultan of Egypt, died 1198
  • Brian Faulkner, former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
  • Cambyses II, Persian king - died accidentally in 521 BC, according to Herodotus
  • Catherine II of Russia, also known as Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796), is often said in urban legend to have died while attempting to have sexual intercourse with a horse, only to be crushed to death when the harness supporting it above her broke. This, however, is untrue.
  • Eadgils, semi-legendary king of Sweden, split his skull when his horse stumbled and fell.
  • Emily Davison, English suffragette, was trampled to death by the King's horse at the Derby in 1913.
  • Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy (c. 1182 – 1242), fell from his horse onto his sword and died.
  • Francis II, Duke of Brittany ? d. 9 September 1488 from a horse riding accident.
  • Frederick I Barbarossa died in 1190 while crossing the Saleph River in Cilicia, south-eastern Anatolia. It is thought that he was thrown from his horse into the cold water and had a fatal heart attack as a result.
  • Fulk of Jerusalem - fell from horse while hunting in 1143. His wooden saddle fell after him, striking him on the head, causing fatal injuries.
  • Genghis Khan - d. 1227 from injuries resulting from a fall from a horse.
  • Geoffrey Plantagenet, Duke of Brittany and son of Henry II of England, d. 19 August 1186 trampled to death by his horse during a tournament; with his death, Plantagenet rule of Brittany was weakened (son Arthur was underage and in future imprisoned by uncle John I of England) - finally decades later, the duchy is passed by Philip II of France to the House of Dreux, descendants of Geoffrey's widow's other marriage.
  • Isabella of Aragon, wife of king Philip III of France - d. 1271 at 24 from a fall
  • John I of Castile d. 9 October 1390, while riding in a fantasia with some of the light horsemen known as the farfanes
  • John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut - d. 1236 after his horse fell on him and crushed him
  • Leopold V of Austria, died 31 December 1194 after falling from his horse at a tournament in Graz.
  • Louis II of Hungary - died at the Battle of Mohács in 1526 after falling from his horse.
  • Louis IV of France (920-954), king of France, died after falling from his horse.
  • Maria Malibran, opera singer, died 1836 after falling from her horse during a hunt
  • Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce and half-sister of David II of Scotland d. 2 March 1316 after a fall from a horse caused premature labour; her baby survived to become King Robert II of Scotland
  • Mary of Valois, Duchess of Burgundy ? d. 1482 from a horse riding accident; after her death, the Burgundy estates (of which she herself had lost Picardy and duchy of Burgundy) formed a part of Habsburg domains
  • Minamoto no Yoritomo, (源 頼朝, May 9, 1147—February 9, 1199)
  • Najm ad-Din Ayyub, father of Saladin, died on 9 August 1173 after falling from his horse
  • Nero Claudius Drusus (in 9 BC), brother of emperor Tiberius and general in Germania Inferior
  • Philip of Burgundy, count of Auvergne and heir of Duke Eudes IV of Burgundy - d.1346, from a kick of a farmer's horse; his widow married the king of France, and the succession went to his underage son Philip I of Burgundy.
  • Philip of France (1116–1131), heir of king Louis VI of France ? d. 1131, from a fall from a horse
  • Pope Urban VI - died 1389 from injuries sustained after falling from a mule.
  • Saborios, Byzantine general and rebel - d. 678 when his horse bolted, slamming his head on a city gate and killing him.
  • Stefan Dragutin, Serbian king, in 1282 broke leg after falling from horse, became limp and so had to give throne to Stefan Milutin; this later provoked a war between Milutin and Dragutin's son Vladislav.
  • Theodosius II - Roman emperor, died 450
  • Theophylactus of Constantinople - Patriarch of Constantinople, died 956
  • Walter de Merton, Lord Chancellor of England - died 1277
  • William the Conqueror died aged 60 at the Convent of St. Gervais, near Rouen, France, on 9 September 1087 from abdominal injuries received from his saddle pommel when he fell off a horse at the Siege of Mantes.
  • William III of England died in 1702 from injuries received after his horse tripped on a molehill.

Fictional characters

  • Bonnie Blue Butler, daughter of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind
  • Gerald O'Hara, father of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind
  • King Théoden of Rohan, in The Lord of the Rings. Crushed by his dying horse Snowmane after being struck by the Lord of the Nazgûl during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Died from wounds shortly after.
  • Drew Kirk, was killed after being thrown from a horse in Neighbours.
  • Lucius Vladescu, after Hells Belle bucks in the 4-H competition in (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside) by Beth Fantaskey.


  • Daniel Baker, 23, died from head injuries after his horse fell in a race at Grafton, New South Wales on 2 December 2007.
  • Hughie Cairns, 40, a jockey who died on 27 July 1929 in a fall at Moonee Valley, VIC. [1]
  • Philip Cheng, Hong Kong jockey, fell from horse and was trampled to death.
  • Tom Clayton, Australian jockey, died from injuries sustained in a 12 horse fall.
  • Thomas Corrigan, fell to his death while riding 'Waiter' in the Grand National Steeplechase at Caulfield, Victoria on 13 August 1894.
  • Earl Dew, 19, American jockey, 1940 national champion. Died from head injuries caused from a spill in the 6th race on 2 February 1941. It was Earl Dew day at Agua Caliente Racetrack.
  • Willy Kan, Hong Kong jockey, fell from horse and was trampled to death.
  • Cecil "Skeeter" Kelly, killed in a race fall at Glen Innes, New South Wales.
  • Kieran Kelly, Irish jockey, died from injuries caused by a fall at Kilbeggan racecourse, 2005.
  • Adrian Ledger, 25, was killed when his horse, Daring Movement, fell near the home turn at the Corowa, NSW races.
  • Charles John Lewis (1867-1895), was thrown onto his head and lacerated his brain during a steeplechase at Caulfield, Victoria.
  • Gavin Lisk, 23, died of head injuries he suffered in a fall at the Moe races in 2005.
  • Donald Nicholson, killed in the 1885 Caulfield Cup fall, when 16 of the 44 runners fell.
  • Ray Oliver, killed in a fall at Kalgoorlie Western Australia.
  • Alvaro Pineda, Mexican jockey, died in 1975 through a blow to the head in the starting gates; brother of Roberto Pineda.
  • Roberto Pineda, Mexican jockey, died in 1978; brother of Alvaro Pineda.
  • Michael Rowland, American jockey, died from head injuries after falling from his horse.
  • Brian Taylor, British jockey, died from injuries sustained after tumbling from his horse.
  • Sam Thompson, Jr., American jockey, died from injuries five days after his mount collapsed at Los Alamitos Race Course on 30 December 2008.
  • George Woolf, Canadian jockey, concussion after a fall during a race at Santa Anita Park believed to have been caused by hypoglycemia. (Woolf was a Type 1 diabetic.)
  • Nathanaëlle Artu, French Jockey, died on her birthday in 2006 after a fall at 'prix de l'isle briand' (Lion D'angers)
  • Joshua Radosevich, American Jockey, 16, died at Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio after a race fall.

Jousting and Tournaments

  • John Dunbar, Earl of Moray (d. 1390) a Scottish nobleman.


  • Edward Hempstead - thrown and died six days later.
  • Ellen Church
  • Frederic Brooks Dugdale
  • Charles Fairfax
  • Kenneth "Mr. Hands" Pinyan - died in July 2005 after engaging in anal sex with a horse
  • Kim Hyung-chil - died in Dec 2006 while attending the equestrian race in 2006 Asian Games



Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...