A ‘HIGHLY-regarded and skilled’ horse rider will be downsizing yards after being caught breaching fire safety requirements in Oxfordshire.

Eventer Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Taylor, 40, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday (January 2) for three failures to comply with health and safety requirements at Aldershot Farm, Bucknell, near Bicester.

Oxfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service discovered the issues after a fire in her tack room in October 2020.

It included an inadequate supply of working fire alarms and a set of fire escape stairs that were only loosely attached to the wall.

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Oxford Mail: Izzy TaylorIzzy Taylor (Image: Izzy Taylor/Social Media)

She was told to make amendments to the property but when a fire officer revisited in December 2022, he found that the work had not been done.

In July last year, Judge Ian Pringle deferred Taylor’s sentencing for her to raise funds to complete the building works and pay court costs.

However, after suffering from an accident a month later leading to seven broken ribs, Taylor decided to abandon the farm altogether.

Defending Taylor, who is currently ranked second in the British Eventing Rankings, Caroline Goodwin said the rider will be moving to a smaller yard with fewer horses to focus on the ‘quality of the rides’ due to her age and the scare following the accident.

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During the previous sentencing hearing, the court heard that the first was caused by a faulty electrical distribution board on the ground floor. 

Officers found several issues including inadequate resistance between the upper and lower floors where staff were living, inadequate firefighting equipment and no ‘proper’ fire risk assessment.

The prohibition notice was put in place banning people from living in the flats but when an officer returned, an unmade bed pointed to the property being lived in.

Judge Pringle said: “You’re a very busy woman, a highly regarded and highly skilled three-day eventer.

“You head off competing and you’re a single parent looking after two now teenage children.”

Oxford Mail: Izzy TaylorIzzy Taylor (Image: NQ)

Noting her accident, he added: “Despite that, you’ve carried on competing, even winning a competition but you had to make a reassessment of your future life.

“You’re going to move yards to a smaller yard that specializes in with less horses – that seems to be a sensible move.”

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Taylor plans to vacate her farm by March.

The yard will likely be knocked down.

Sentencing Taylor to a £5,000 fine and a two-year conditional discharge for the breaches, Judge Pringle added: “A fire risk is a very serious risk indeed.”

She also needs to pay £4,965.50 in court costs.

Taylor could face three months imprisonment if the fine is not paid by December 31.