Rider returns to the saddle 100 days after sustaining a serious head injury

  • Scottish dressage rider Jo Hamilton has been back on a horse, 100 days after sustaining a serious head injury.

    Jo was riding at her yard near Edinburgh on 21 December when she fell from her horse Corchapin.

    She was in hospital for around nine weeks, but was discharged in March and is making good progress at home. She has been helping out with the horses, and last week (1 April) was back in the saddle for the first time since the accident.

    Jo rode again in a “safe situation” at a riding school and described it as feeling like “going home”.

    “It is lovely to be riding again — and at the school I learned to ride at many years ago,” she told H&H today (Monday 6 April).

    “I’m taking it slowly as my strength and fitness improve, but I’m glad to report that balance and feel are still there.

    “My body felt like a beginner again but it’s a start and the desire is still there.”

    Jo was on her own when she fell, so no one is clear exactly what happened, but she was found shortly after the accident unconscious in the school. She had been wearing a crash hat.

    “She was due to teach someone after she’d worked her horse, and she was found unconscious on the ground. The horse had sand on his knees and on his saddle so we assume he must have fallen,” her mother Flora told H&H at the time.

    “It all happened really quickly. Jo always wears a helmet, thank goodness, as it could have been so much worse without that hat.

    “It’s a huge road to recovery but her mobility is getting better every day.”

    Although based in Scotland, Jo continued to train with her former employer, Gloucestershire rider Carl Hester before her accident. Her horses are currently being ridden by Kate Cowell, another of Carl’s pupils.

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