A dressage rider who had to be cut free from her horsebox following an accident qualified for the national championships the following day.

Wiltshire-based Sam Rahmatalla planned to stay with a friend the night before competing at the British Dressage summer regionals at Bury Farm (8-11 August).

She was travelling with her dachshund Widget and her six-year-old horse Hawtins Falerno (Doodles) when she was involved in a collision with a van on the A413 at Adstock.

The fire service, police and ambulance were called to the scene.

Sam had to be cut free as her legs were caught in the cab.

Lisa Hopkins, Sam’s friend and fellow dressage rider, picked up Widget and Doodles in her lorry and took them to her house.

Sam was taken to hospital and X-rays revealed she had not broken any bones.

“Amazingly I got away with soft tissue damage,” Sam told H&H.

Doodles was checked by a vet and was found to have not sustained any injuries.


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“I lunged him in the morning and he was good, in fact a bit wild as it was his first time staying away from home,” said Sam.

“I knew I’d regret not trying to compete so decided to try.

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“It was very painful getting boots on as my right foot had been crushed on to the brake by the steering column.”

Sam’s persistence paid off and she finished fourth in the elementary gold (11 August).

She scored over 72% and qualified for the nationals.

“You can never expect to do well, especially as this was his first championship I didn’t know how he’d cope, but he’s always regularly scored over 70% and is a bit of a cool dude, so I wouldn’t have bothered if I thought we didn’t have a chance to get through,” Sam added.

“I certainly questioned by sanity while I was getting my boots on my squashed legs!

“I’m incredibly proud of him and he deserves to compete at the nationals.”