A 10-year-old girl is recovering from an injured ankle after being hit by a loose horse at Barbury Horse Trials.
The child was watching the cross-country phase of the CIC** on Saturday morning (11 July) when rider Jeanette Brakewell was unseated at the crocodile fence in the water.
Her horse, Lets Dance, ran loose following the fall and jumped the string, colliding with the girl, who was sitting on the ground with others.
The girl was immediately given care by the St John’s Ambulance team on site before being taken to The Great Western Hospital, Swindon, to have her ankle examined.
Her mother later confirmed to Barbury that her daughter’s ankle was badly bruised.
“It wasn’t until I got myself off the floor that I could hear a child in discomfort,” Jeanette told H&H.
“I didn’t realise she [Just Dance] had jumped over the string and landed on her ankle.
“I went over to see her to see how she was — she was in pain and her ankle was really sore.”
Jeanette explained why she thought her mare had jumped the string.
“She just carried on the line — no one told her to turn. She is normally very careful and would have tried to avoid what she could. ”
Jeannette was not injured in the fall and was able to ride her next horse, who went double clear.
“It’s good to hear [the girl’s ankle was not broken],” said Jeanette who is hoping to get in touch with the family to see how the girl is getting on.
A spokesman for Barbury Horse Trials added: “The Barbury team and Jeanette were very concerned for the welfare of all involved, particularly the girl who was injured and we all wish her a very speedy recovery.
“Barbury is organising a full refund on the girl’s family’s tickets and offering them complimentary entry to the horse trials in 2016.”
British Eventing (BE) advised that spectators at equestrian events should take care.
“We are extremely sorry to hear that this accident occurred,” a BE spokesman told H&H.
“We understand that the individual is expected to make a full recovery and that the organising team have been in touch with the family offering their support.
“We advise that a common sense approach is taken and that any spectator at a sporting event needs to be mindful of what is happening around them, especially when animals are involved.”