Nineteen-year-old Mary Skelly is being awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Royal Humane Society after her prompt action helped save a child’s life last autumn.

Chloe Locke, nine, was at a Pony Club team show jumping event in Somerset when she slipped and fell from a horsebox on to concrete, fracturing her skull.

Mary rushed to her, administered basic first aid and comforted her until paramedics arrived.

Chloe was flown by air ambulance to the intensive care unit at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. She spent three weeks in hospital and has sincemade a good recovery.

The Royal Humane Society, founded in 1774, announced that Mary will receive its Certificate of Commendation following a recommendation by the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police Steve Pilkington and ambulance technician Dean Wiltshire.

The society’s major general Christopher Tyler said: “Mary’s quick thinking, good communication and totally selfless actions played a major part in Chloe’s survival and recovery.

“She must be a tremendous instructorif she can keep her head like this when faced with a young child suffering such injuries.”

Mary, who won the restricted elementary class at the British Dressage National Championships last September, said: “It’s a great honour. It’s wonderfulto see Chloe back on a horse and riding again.”