An ambulance service has been forced to apologise after a rider had to wait more than two hours following a serious showjumping accident last month (26 October).
Charlotte Goord was catapulted out of the saddle when her horse, Ellie, paddled through a spread during a British Showjumping competition at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.
“I remember coming to the jump and feeling her misjudge it really badly. Then I heard my neck crunching and then I blacked out,” she told H&H.
The 19-year-old hit the ground at speed, and a doctor and an on-site first aider were concerned that she might have serious neck injuries, and so called the emergency services.
After waiting for more than two hours in the arena, with her head immobilised in a brace, the student was eventually taken to Gloucestershire Hospital in an ambulance.
“I have been incredibly lucky as it turned out only to be severe bruising,” Miss Goord said. “But it could have been much more serious and waiting for all that time was a bit ridiculous.”
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) told H&H that the hold-up was due to it “experiencing a particularly high demand in the area”.
“SWASFT would like to apologise for the delay in getting an ambulance to this incident,” said a spokesman.
“We are confident that the doctor on the scene was able to help the patient while an ambulance was on its way.”
A spokesman from Hartpury College added that he was “surprised” at the length of time it took.
“We have never waited more than 20 minutes for an ambulance in the past,” he said.
“It’s very difficult as obviously you don’t know what else was going on in the country at the same time, but it is something we are looking into with the ambulance service.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (6 October 2014).