A 17-year-old student believes her horse may have “saved her life” after an undiagnosed heart condition caused her to lose consciousness in a field.
Jemima Lailey was bringing in her six-year-old ex-racehorse Matrix (pictured) on October 30 when she collapsed, passing out for around ten minutes.
Matrix, who lives out, has to be kept on his own but was being led through a field with 10-15 other horses at the time.
“He’d walked over to the gate and was just stood there when someone spotted him and realised his head collar was on and he wasn’t where he should be,” said Jemima.
“He lives in a field next to the herd because he is riggy due to being cut late, and has been known to try and mount the mares, and he also has a reputation for kicking.
‘Out of character’
“It was out of character for him to walk calmly past any horse, let alone a field full.
“If he hadn’t have stood there, no one would’ve come out for at least another hour, so God knows how long I would’ve been lying there for.”
After regaining consciousness, Jemima was helped back to the yard where her pulse was found to be racing so an ambulance was called.
“Initially they thought Matrix might have swung round and hit me but the paramedics said there was no signs of head injury,” she said.
“One doctor thought my blood sugar was slightly low and that might have caused me to pass out, but my GP said it didn’t add up and said I should have an ECG, which was when he spotted an abnormal heart rhythm.
“After they diagnosed me they said that’s definitely what would’ve caused me to pass out for so long.”
She added that the other liveries “couldn’t believe” Matrix had just stood there.
“Any other time he’s ended up in with the other horses he’s caused a problem,” she said.
Jemima bought Matrix off the track a year ago hoping to play polocrosse but discovered he was better suited to jumping.
“I only dabble but we were hoping to start competing this winter so this has been a massive step back,” said Jemima, who is currently unable to ride because of the condition.
“I’m hoping to get back into the saddle at some point if the treatment goes to plan. At the moment they are still running more tests and they’ve put me on tablets to slow down my heart rate.
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“Without Matrix, it could’ve been put down to ‘just a fainting episode’, so we might have never uncovered the problem and I could’ve passed out whilst riding or just crossing the road.
“Things could’ve been a lot more serious than they are now, so I feel like he saved me.”