‘It could have been my skull’: rider urges others to wear a helmet

  • A rider is urging others to always wear a safety helmet after having a serious fall at a team chase.

    Holly Haward of Eye, Suffolk, was competing in the novice class at the Essex and Suffolk hunt team chase in Semer, Ipswich, earlier this month (1 November).

    The horse she was riding, Jack, had a rotational fall at a fence towards the end of the course and Holly was crushed underneath him.

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    The 15.2hh piebald gelding was not injured in the fall and Holly was treated by event paramedics.

    She had some concussion but was otherwise unharmed.

    “It was one of the smallest jumps on the whole course,” she told H&H. “Everything had been going fine until then and he was jumping nicely.

    “I can’t really remember what happened but he hardly took off. It felt like he was on top of me for ages, but in reality it was probably only a matter of seconds.

    “I have never come off him before and he does everything. It reminds you that they are not machines.”

    Lucy's riding hat has taken the impact of her fall, saving her from more serious injury

    Holly’s riding hat absorbed the impact of her fall, saving her from far more serious injury

    Holly credits her hat, a Dublin Onyx helmet, for saving her from a more serious injury.

    “We cut open the hat afterwards to see the damage and it was completely broken inside — lots of people have said it could have been my skull if I had not had a hat on.

    “I want to stress to others the importance of wearing a hat,” added the 29-year-old. “So many people still jump on without one.”

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