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Tales from the H&H Festival of Eventing: ‘He catapulted me face first’

Emily Miles-Thomas, who is competing in the 100cm class at this weekend’s Horse & Hound Festival of Eventing at Keysoe (25—27 May), has mixed memories of her time competing at this venue.

“In August 2016 I was competing in the British Eventing novice on my horse, BBS Lovejoy, when he hit fence five on the cross-country and catapulted me face first into the ground,” explains Emily, a freelance groom from Huntingdon. “The air ambulance was called as medics suspected I had broken my jaw and neck, and eventually I was taken by road ambulance to Bedford Hospital.”

Miraculously doctors found Emily had escaped the fall without any broken bones and her horse was also fine, bar a couple of scrapes.

“I was released from hospital the next day and I then spent the next three weeks asleep, due to the impact on my head,” says Emily. “My husband, Dave, was amazing as he cared for me while I was recovering, but I was back at work after three weeks.”

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Emily took her time in returning to affiliated eventing and is now focused on enjoying competing ‘Donkey’, as he is known at home at 100 level.

“I perhaps don’t ride with as much gumption across country as I did before my fall, and I also have a much shorter fuse and suffer from social anxiety now, but I have nothing to prove to anyone and I just want to go out and have fun eventing,” explains Emily, who has owned Donkey, an 11-year-old, for eight years. The pair picked up an unfortunate 20 penalties for a run out across country today, but sit in 11th place going into the final showjumping phase.

Don’t miss the full report from the H&H Festival of Eventing in Horse & Hound magazine — on sale Thursday, 6 June

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