Border TV presenter Gillian Fraser is recovering at home after falling from her horse at a show in Carlisle

A freak accident while mounting her horse at a competition has sidelined Border television journalist Gillian Fraser who is at home for the next five to six weeks nursing a badly fractured wrist and two broken ribs.

It was absolutely not the horse’s fault,” she insists. “I am a hopeful amateur and have only had Rockhill Strider (Seth) for a few months.

“We were entered for the 3ft 3in and 3ft 6in showjumping class at a local centre Greenlands in Wreay, near Carlisle.”

The seven-year-old 16.2hh Hanoverian is just one of three horses kept at home by Gillian and her husband Malcolm Mason, from the country band Lemon Grass. Malcolm can also be seen competing in showjumping competitions locally on Shady Canadian and Shady By You “and”, says Gillian “is much more successful than me.

I should have known better, having ridden for many years, but had forgotten that my whip was stuck down the inside of my right riding boot,” says Gillian.

“Malcolm was giving me a leg up when the whip caught between me and Seth’s back which startled him. I couldn’t get into the saddle and landed awkwardly on Seth’s backside which sent him forward again. As he veered sharply, I went out the side door crashing onto a stone dyke. Iwould have been okay if I had hit the floor.

“I thought I would be alright when the faintness passed and be able to get back on and compete, I didn’t realise how much damage I had done – the bone was sticking right out through the skin.”

In a two-hour operation, surgeons at Cumberland Infirmary had to put wires in the wrist to piece it back together and Gillian had to stay in hospital for two nights.

“We looked quite funny when we turned up at the hospital,” recalls Gillian. “Seth had to load a shaken Seth back into the trailer and we had Zara, our Golden Retriever/German Shepherd in the van. Both were abandoned in the car park. Luckily it was a Sunday night and fairly quiet, until we turned up!”

Fortunately as Malcolm plays mainly at nights, he is able to care for the horses at the couple’s Abbeyfield home while Gillian recovers. She might even get down to penning another Mills & Boon novel, which she writes under the name of Rachel Elliott. Fantasy of Love set in Cumbria features a journalist and her relationship with the vet who cares for her first horse.

Read about other injured riders: