An event rider was knocked unconscious after a freak accident involving a falling branch.
Southerly Roberts was competing at the British Eventing’s Smiths Lawn Horse Trials in Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, when the incident happened on August 10.
Her nine-year-old mare, Fizz IV, was not injured.
Southerly and Fizz IV were heading up a long, uphill gallop between the fourth and third-last fences on the course when a branch fell.
The last thing she remembers about the horse riding accident was a noise and the branch falling. She woke up in an ambulance strapped to a spinal board.
Large skid marks from the horse were found in front of the branch, leading to the assumption that the branch fell just ahead of the duo rather than on top of them.
A friend raised the alarm when they noticed Fizz IV heading back to the show jumping warm-up area without Southerly.
Southerly, who works for Sophie Allison Livery in Hook, Hampshire, was discharged from hospital the next day. She is now recovering at home and is expected to be off work for two weeks because of her injuries.
But she will not be able to return to affiliated eventing for three weeks, as British Eventing has strict rules regarding injuries.
A spokeswoman for the organisation confirmed Southerly had been kept in hospital overnight as a precaution.
Southerly and Fizz IV were competing in a novice section of the trials. They had ridden a 36.8 penalty dressage and show jumped clear before starting the cross-country, where the accident happened.
Source: Horse and Hound
Date Published: August 14, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown