Olympic-hopeful eventing rider, 40, who was spared jail after breaching fire safety rules


  • Talented horsewoman Isabelle Taylor, 40, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court 

One of Britain’s top event riders who avoided jail after breaching fire safety rules at her farm must pay a £10,000 bill, as a court heard she will be downsizing and working with fewer horses. 

Talented horsewoman Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Taylor, 40, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday 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.

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.

She now faces a bill of almost £10,000 – made up of a £5,000 fine and £4,965.50 in court costs.

Isabelle 'Izzy' Taylor, 40, was previously described in court as her city's 'golden girl' (Pictured outside Oxford Crown Court)

Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Taylor, 40, was previously described in court as her city’s ‘golden girl’ (Pictured outside Oxford Crown Court)

Izzy Taylor at the 2023 Badminton Horse Trials in May 2023

Izzy Taylor at the 2023 Badminton Horse Trials in May 2023

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.

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.’

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.’

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

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 

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.

Taylor has often competed in international competitions – winning the Le Lion d’Angers dressage competition in 2017.

Based on her family farm in Oxfordshire, the mother of two had a prolific junior career and represented Britain at senior level consistently from 2013.

She was selected to compete in the Rio Olympics in 2016 but her mare withdrew through injury before the start of the games.

She has also reportedly been in a relationship with world number one event star and Olympic gold medallist Oliver Townend.



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