A rider crushed when a lorry spooked the horse she was riding started walking again last week after months of operations on her foot.

Scarlet Coughlin, 18, was injured when a big lorry sped round a corner overtaking her on a blind bend outside Seering in Essex on 12 February.

“I was hacking back to the yard when a lorry overtook me just after the 20mph sign where the road narrowed. The horse slipped over and landed on my right foot,” she told H&H.

scarlet1She was taken to Colchester hospital for emergency surgery then spent two-and-a-half weeks in the Royal London hospital having her foot reconstructed.

A total of seven bones were broken plus ligaments torn in the accident. Skin grafts were needed and bolts were put through her shin, heel and toes as part of the operation.

In March her foot became infected so she had to go back to hospital, have the wound opened and flushed out again.

scarlet“I started walking last week, but my foot is still too swollen to fit in my shoes,” said Miss Coughlin.

The horse she was riding escaped with a few cuts.

“My horse had lost a shoe so I was riding a friend’s from the yard,” she explained.

“We put my horse out on loan after the accident. She’s coming back in a month’s time, but I still don’t think I’ll be able to get my foot in a stirrup.”

The accident was reported to the police, but the driver could not be traced.

“Drivers don’t understand horses and lorry companies should train their drivers to slow down when they see a rider. Even the safest horse can spook,” said Miss Coughlin.


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She is promoting the Slow Down For My Horse campaign launched on Facebook in her local press.

The Writtle College student, who has been an active member of the Essex Farmers PC, has been able to continue her BTEC in horse management at the college, but examiners had to rely on previous videos for the practicals.

“I’m hoping to get into university on time, and go to the RAU in Cirencester to study international equine and agricultural business management,” she said.