A BANK manager was fatally injured when a horse suddenly “freaked out” and began thrashing around in the back of a transporter, an inquest heard.

Peter McGuire, 51, was travelling with his wife Marie and daughter Zoe along the A56, near Edenfield, with the girl’s horse Hedgehog, when he sensed that there were problems with the transporter.

Burnley Coroner’s Court heard Mr McGuire pulled his car into a layby to check on the horse.

His wife Marie said that when he went into the horsebox he could see internal partitions had been kicked off, but the horse appeared to be calm and still.

But when Mr McGuire approached the animal, Hedgehog appeared to “freak out”and kick out.

The inquest heard that Mr McGuire appeared to have suffered a broken leg, at this point, but his wife was unable to move him away because of his size and positioning within the horsebox.

Hedgehog began to move backwards and Mrs McGuire was forced outside the horsebox. She could hear her husband inside saying “calm down” to the horse before she heard two loud noises, then silence.

The court was told that when Mrs McGuire looked back into the horsebox, there was a significant amount of blood and Mr McGuire was slumped to one side.

Mrs McGuire, who was kicked in the head and chest by the horse, said: “I had to get out of there because I feared for my life.”

Sergeant Mick Young, a road policing officer, alerted a vet so that the horse could be sedated, before Mr McGuire’s body could be retrieved. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard that Mr McGuire, of Aylesbury Grove, Middleton, had been travelling to Croft Top Equestrian Centre on October 31, last year.

Mrs McGuire said her husband was experienced with horses and there had been no previous difficulties with the horse’s temperament.

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor said the cause of Mr McGuire's death was head injuries, and he recorded a verdict of accident death.