An 11-year-old girl is recovering in hospital after suffering “life-changing” injuries when she fell from her pony out hacking.
Maisie Welsh, from Marske, North Yorkshire, was riding round farm tracks on Monday evening (14 November) when her seven-year-old Welsh section C Nero uncharacteristically spooked.
“She was out with another girl from the yard and they were on one of the tracks on the farm that they go down on a regular basis,” said her father Adam. “He spooked at what could have been a rustle or a pheasant.
“They would regularly ride out with head torches and hi-vis. It’s the only time they get to ride after school so the horses were used to it. He’s a lovely pony and doesn’t normally spook at many things.”
Maisie, who has been riding since she was three years old, was taken to James Cooke University Hospital where she underwent surgery for her injuries.
“We can’t say much more at the moment as we’re waiting for doctors and specialists to look at her,” Adam said. “She’s talking but has been in a lot of pain.”
He added that Nero, who they have owned for 18 months, had seemed upset since the accident and had even colicked.
“We think he’s been worried sick,” he said. “He came back after she fell off to check if she was OK. He’s been checking every person that comes round the corner since to see if it’s her.
“We’re hoping she can Facetime over the weekend to say hello to him. He’s a brilliant pony and she won’t have anything bad said about him at all.”
Adam added that he wanted to say “a big thank you” to all the people who had helped following the accident.
“We’d like to thank Jade Robson, who she was hacking with, and another girl Louise Barker who laid down on the floor with Maisie while she waited for the ambulance, which had trouble finding her and took 40 minutes.
“All our friends and family have rallied round and the nurses have all been fantastic.”
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Friend of the family Jo Byrne has since set up a GoFundMe page to help support Maisie following her injuries.
The page has already raised almost £2,000 in the first three days.
“We didn’t know anything about it beforehand,” said Adam, who works as a coach driver. “We think the money is likely to go towards hotel stays and similar to make life easier for Maisie when she has hospital appointments and anything else that might help her.”