The owner of a stables where a mum died after being struck by a bale of hay told an inquest that the hay stacks on her premises were “always safe.”
Carol Hill said she checked the stack daily, sometimes more than once, to ensure it was safe and level.
But she admitted that she was unaware that there were guidelines issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on safely stacking hay bales.
Mrs Hill was speaking on the fifth day of the inquest into the death of Charlotte Louise Conroy-Taylor, 45, from Moorside Road, Brookhouse, Lancaster,
Mrs Conroy-Taylor died after sufferring multiple injuries following the incident at Beaumont Grange Stables in Slyne-with-Hest, Lancaster on May 31 last year.
Preston Coroner’s Court heard how Mrs Hill knew from years of experience in the equestrian world how a hay stack should be constructed.
She said: “The stack is built in a pyramid structure that is stepped at the side.”
However, she said she did not know about HSE legislation relating to hay stacks that said they should be stepped on four sides.
The stacks were built by her husband, Stephen, who was also unaware of the HSE document.
Mrs Hill, who was described by Preston coroner Dr James Adeley as being “a rarity” in being so highly qualified as an equestrian instructor, trainer and assessor, described Mrs Conroy-Taylor as a friend.
She said: “I knew her very well and we had a close relationship. She would come to me for advice.”
The incident happened when Mrs Conroy-Taylor, a youth justice area manager with Lancaster County Council was collecting hay for her daughter’s horse. The inquest continues.