Peter and Keith Doyle, horse breeders and trainers, succeeded in libel proceedings against Nick Skelton, the well-known international show jumper, over allegations in his 2001 autobiography, “Only Falls and Horses”. Mr Skelton apologised to the Doyles in open court and undertook not to repeat the allegations in the future. He also agreed to pay substantial damages to them.
Peter and Keith Doyle v Nick Skelton
4 March 2004
The settlement of libel proceedings between Peter and Keith Doyle (who are father and son), and Nick Skelton, the well-known international show jumper, was announced in the High Court today.
Peter and Keith Doyle are in business together breeding, training and selling horses for show jumping. Peter Doyle was a competitive show jumper in the 1960s and 1970s. Keith Doyle is currently an active, successful and well known show jumper and has in recent years begun to take a leading role in running and developing the family horse business.
The Doyles sued Nick Skelton over allegations in his 2001 autobiography, “Only Falls and Horses”. In the book, Mr Skelton had alleged that both Peter Doyle and Keith Doyle had lied to him about whether a horse under their control had been treated with a banned substance and that they had in consequence allowed Mr Skelton to suffer unjustified disciplinary action. In court today, through his Counsel, Mr Skelton acknowledged that these allegations were false. He apologised to Peter and Keith Doyle and undertook not to repeat the allegations in the future. He also agreed to pay substantial damages to them, together with their legal costs.
After the hearing, Keith Doyle said: “We are delighted that the proceedings are at an end and that Mr Skelton has acknowledged that the serious allegations in the book were untrue. The reputation which I and my father have in the horse world for honesty and integrity is extremely important to us and it is good to know that we can now get on with our business without these allegations hanging over us.”
A copy of the Statement in Open Court is attached. Enquiries to Ruth Collard at Carter-Ruck, Tel: 020 7353 5005.