A wife was forced to watch in horror as a water buffalo killed her husband and her 19-year-old son who tried to save his father on their family farm, an inquest has heard.
Grieving widow Josephine Jump told an inquest how she found her husband Ralph, 57, groaning and unconscious as the beast, weighing almost a ton, ‘rolled him’ down a field on their farm in Gwehelog, Usk, South Wales.
Her son Peter, 19, bravely used an iron bar to stop the four-year-old buffalo, called Yolo, but he became stuck in mud and unable to run away as the animal charged at him.
Farmer and businessman Ralph, known as John, was killed at the scene after the bull’s horns speared his neck and body and Peter died hours later after being airlifted to hospital with multiple injuries after the bull crushed him.
The family rented the nine-acre smallholding where they made luxury soap and beauty products from buffalo milk.
They had raised Yolo since he was a calf but the inquest heard the animal had taken a dislike to Peter, who worked full time at the farm.
Mrs Jump’s daughter Isabel, 23, was left badly injured after the raging bull turned its attention to her while she desperately called 999 for help.
The mother-of-three was in the kitchen preparing lunch at the family farmhouse when Isabel screamed: ‘Yolo is pushing dad down the field.’
She told the hearing: ‘I quickly dropped everything and got a stick from the hay barn and went into the field – I could see John being rolled down the field by Yolo.
Husband Ralph Jump, 57, and son Peter (pictured together) were crushed by the raging bull on the farm making luxury soap from buffalo milk in Gwehelog, near Usk, Monmouthshire
‘I could hear him groaning but he looked unconscious. Peter came with an iron bar – I was telling Isabel to call a vet to get someone down to shoot the bull.
‘All of a sudden the bull started going for Peter and got him, it was moving so fast. Peter was in the mud and the bull was going at him.’
Isabel Jump was calling 999 and a local vet when the beast – known to be aggressive – turned its attention to her.
Mrs Jump said: ‘I think the bull had moved around and Isabel was being dragged away by it.
‘The police were trying to keep me away – I learned that my husband was dead and later in the evening I found my son Peter had also died.’
Mr Jump, christened Ralph but was known as John, had gone into the field to move a hay ring lodged against an electric fence.
Father-of three Mr Jump was dragged down the field by bull Yolo as his son (pictured, Peter) tried to save him
Mrs Jump said in a statement: ‘We noticed the bull didn’t like Peter, it would stick its head up in the air. It would never behave like that with me and John.
‘We were aware of it and kept Peter away from the bull.’
Doctor Alastair Hogg arrived at the scene on May 5 last year and was told by Mrs Jump: ‘This stupid beast has attacked my husband.’
Dr Hogg said he was tending Mr Jump who had a hole in his neck when he had to run for safety when the buffalo charged at him.
A police firearms unit arrived at the horrific scene but none of their three weapons were powerful enough to dispatch the animal.
Firearms officer Robert Gunney told the hearing: ‘We called for a specialist rifle from a police station 15 minutes away.
‘While waiting I instructed two PCs with lightweight weapons to shoot at the bull which was standing over Mr Jump staring at his body.
‘We shot the bull in the head knowing it would not have much of an effect and it ran offset of sight.’
The bull was later shot dead after a helicopter was used to flush it back into the field.
Sgt Gunney said: ‘It was a very unique incident. We have had previous incidents dealing with cattle but nothing with a beast as big as a water buffalo.’
Josephine was preparing food in the kitchen when daughter Isabelle (pictured), 22, ran in screaming: ‘Yolo is pushing dad down the field’
Senior Gwent Coroner Caroline Saunders said the Jump family did not attend the hearing in Newport because they would have found it ‘too difficult’.
The inquest heard work systems at the family-run smallholding fell ‘far below’ guidelines for farmers handling cattle.
Dr Sara Lumley, HM Inspector at the Health and Safety Executive told the hearing: ‘You can never assume a bull is safe and this bull had shown previous signs of aggression.
‘The guidelines say a bull should have a ring through its nose or a harness so it can be controlled by its head.
‘As a minimum there should be two people in the field with it and some sort of barrier or refuge like a tractor should be present.
Mr Jump (pictured) died after the bull’s horns pierced the right side of his body and he died from multiple injuries caused by trauma
‘The system of work was not adequate, falling far below the guidance set out by the Health and Safety Executive.’
Dr Lumley said she could not comment on whether the Jump family had become complacent over safety because they had reared Yolo from a calf.
Wealthy company director Mr Jump, who had a farming background, died of multiple injuries, his son Peter died from cardiac arrest following trauma.
Gwent Senior Coroner Caroline Saunders commended police for their ‘obvious bravery’ in putting the family’s safety before their own.
She told the jury: ‘Every year there are deaths and injuries of farmers working with and handling cattle. These are from an under- estimation of their strength, speed or behaviour.
‘Familiarity with individual cattle can lead to complacency. The family had owned Yolo for four years and you may want to consider whether a degree of complacency had set in.
One of their buffalo escaped its pen and attacked the pair and daughter Isabel as they tried to return it to safety at the farm (pictured)
In a tribute, Mr Jump’s brother Richard said he had lost his ‘best friend’ and ‘wonderful nephew’ and described the loss as ‘surreal and insurmountable’. Pictured: Mr Jump, Isabel and his son on a quad bike about 20 years ago
‘Health and Safety Inspector Dr Lumley has said there is no such thing as a safe bull.
‘A minimum of two people should have entered the field, one to alert the other if the bull approached.
‘There should also have been a refuge for safe cover. There is no evidence that either of these occurred.’
The jury returned a narrative verdict on John Jump that his death was contributed by not having a second person in the field with him and having no refuge or place of safety. They returned a misadventure verdict on Peter Jump.
Mr Jump – who was recovering after a heart attack last year – rented the idyllic country farm near Usk, Gwent, to start a sustainable buffalo soap business with his family.
The inquest heard the couple intended to breed the cattle and bought their Mediterranean Water Buffalo from the buffalo dairy in Aberystwyth.
Ralph died at the scene on May 5 and it was announced today Peter (right) died of his wounds the following day. Isabel (centre), 22, suffered leg injuries but was released from hospital while the buffalo was destroyed. Left: Other son Sam is a musician
Father-of-three Mr Jump (left), who was recovering after a heart attack last year, rented the country farm near Usk to start a sustainable buffalo (right) soap business
He hand-reared the buffalo at their three-acre farm that the family had rented for six years along with his youngest two children.
Daughter Isabelle organised the sales of the hand-wrapped bars of scented soap – and the Bufalina Soap Company started selling them last Christmas.
Mr Jump was MD of the Wunda Group, based at nearby Caldicot, Gwent. The company supplies heating equipment and employs 56 people – but is on lockdown.
The farm is the base of The Bufalina Soap Company – selling a range of scented buffalo soap from £4 to £42.
The company says: ‘We make our soap with the milk from our herd of Mediterranean Water Buffalo, located in the Welsh Marches.
‘Around the World this buffalo breed is famous for its dairy products such as mozzarella, gelato and ice cream. The richness of the milk makes it ideal for making a creamy, luxurious and gentle soap which leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturised.
‘Our unscented and scented soaps (mainly made with essential oils and a couple with parfums) are all free from Palm oil, Parabens, Petrochemicals – made only from Water Buffalo milk, Coconut oil, Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Bees wax and Shea Butter.’