An inquest into the death of a dairy farmer found the 67-year-old died doing something he had done ‘a thousand times before’.
Brian Swales was seeing to his 17 Friesian heifers and one bull on the afternoon of July 31 at Doddle Hill, Hambleton, when he was pronounced dead at the scene.
North Yorkshire Coroner’s Court heard he had reportedly suffered broken ribs and lacerations to his lungs, resembling crush injuries.
Although previous suspicion said he had been trampled by a bull, the coroner said he was alone at the time of death and it was ‘impossible’ to tell what had happened.
Mr Swales wife, Pauline, suspected he may have slipped in the field and was unable to get back up after recovering from a hip operation.
She told the inquest: “His movements trying to get back to his feet may have caused the cows to investigate and have stepped on him.”
Their daughter, Julie, added: “He was a very kind and generous man and touched so many people’s lives.
“Not knowing what happened to dad is hard to take, but we cannot ask the cows what happened can we?”