Top show rider Robert Walker has broken his wrist while pulling a horse’s mane.

“It was such a simple accident,” his mother-in-law Dianne Hesford told H&H. “Robert was standing on the plaiting steps to pull a mane, when the horse pulled the steps over with his off-fore. As he fell on to the concrete, he put his hand out to break the fall.

“Robert nearly always pulls manes in the stable, so it was very unlucky that he didn’t land on a soft straw bed.”

The accident happened on Monday (7 February), after which Robert was taken to Leighton Hospital, Cheshire. He was given a local anaesthetic while doctors pushed the fractured bones together and put a plaster on. He will find out this week if that has been successful or whether he will need to undergo surgery to insert a plate.

“The good sign is that his fingers are moving,” said Mrs Hesford. “If all’s well, he’ll back in work pretty soon. Sarah [his wife] is cracking the whip, so he’ll be working on the yard and riding the quiet ones as soon as he can.”

Mrs Hesford would not be drawn on which horse was the culprit.