Show rider Caroline Wareing has been paralysed after an accident at the Staffordshire County Show last week.

Mrs Wareing was riding her own four-year-old Whalton Pearly Queen in the Hack Championship on Thursday (28 May) when the mare was spooked, slipped and fell on Mrs Wareing.

Mrs Wareing was airlifted to University Hospital of North Staffordshire, where surgeons operated on her back for several hours the following day.

Her mother, Jan Gregson, told H&H: “Caroline has severed spinal cord and won’t walk again. It’s a tragedy.”

Mrs Wareing, who turned 32 in hospital on Sunday (31 May), has two young children under five.

“She’s very positive in her own mind,” said Mrs Gregson. “She’s taken the view that she’s still alive and she’ll still be able to cuddle her children.

“Caroline is adamant it was a freak accident and it was not the horse’s fault, she’s the sweetest mare.”

Mrs Gregson said her daughter is likely to stay in the University Hospital for several weeks before being moved to a hospital nearer home to undergo rehabilitation for six to nine months.

H&H showing correspondent Chris James, who was at the show, said: “The horse just seemed to upend. It was a freak accident.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We were called to County Showground shortly after 10am. On arrival crews found a woman who had been injured after falling from her horse.

“She was treated at the scene for back injuries and immobilised before being airlifted to hospital for further assessment and treatment.”

Mrs Wareing and Whalton Pearly Queen won the Novice Hack class at Royal Windsor Horse show last month (pictured top right).