Horseback riding injury leads to lawsuit

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Sep 19, 2011

GALVESTON - Santa Fe resident Valerie Matejka claims she hurt her right arm during a horseback ride about two years ago, recent court documents say.

Matejka filed suit against Tim Miller, also of Santa Fe, over the injury in Galveston County Court at Law No. 1 on Sept. 14.

According to the original petition, Miller invited the plaintiff over to his property on Nov. 7, 2009, to ride one of his horses.

The suit adds he directed Matejka "to ride that particular horse," stating the respondent failed to tighten the strap of its saddle.

"When the plaintiff mounted the horse, the horse began bucking and running," the suit says.

"The saddle then began to rotate on the horse because it had not been securely fastened to the horse."

Matejka says she then fell off the horse.

Miller is faulted for failing to properly inspect the saddle and failing to adequately warn the plaintiff that the saddle may have not been secured completely.

"(The) defendant, Tim Miller, owed the legal duty to (the) plaintiff to saddle the horse correctly, free from all hidden risks or dangers," the suit says.

It also asserts that the respondent did not ask Matejka about her riding skills prior to her ride.

Consequently, the complainant seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney E.A. "Trey" Apffel III of League City is representing Matejka, and Galveston County Court at Law No. 1 Judge John Grady is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 65,998

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