A rider who fractured her neck in a road accident has told of the “devastating” consequences on her life.
Former livery yard owner Jo* was hacking her horse on a quiet country lane when the incident took place in 2015.
Her mare, a former riding school pony who had “been everywhere and done everything”, had already passed three tractors on the route and “not batted an eyelid”.
Jo then heard a vehicle approaching from behind and saw it was a large tractor pulling a trailer.
“I kept going and expected it to slow down, but it sounded like it got faster the closer it got,” she told H&H.
“I could have touched it, it was that close, it was horrendous. My horse took off and the last thing I remember was trying to stop her.
“The next thing, I was coming round on a verge and someone was holding my head.”
Jo fractured her C2 vertebra and suffered a bleed on the brain.
Her horse was captured by a member of the public and brought back to the yard.
At the time of the accident, Jo’s children were eight, 11 and 13.
“I’m a single parent and there was a fairly high chance I would be paralysed,” she said.
“With the bleed on the brain I was quite confused; when talking I would forget what I was saying and I couldn’t look after the children.
“I lost my mum to dementia and I was a lot like my mum [with my loss of memory].
“What I didn’t realise was my children were panic-stricken — had I died, where would they go? It makes you realise you have to think about guardianship [in case anything happens to you as a parent].”
Jo moved in with a friend who looked after her and the children for a month until she had recovered enough to go home.
Her horse was not injured but was never hacked on the road again.
“I’m 50 this year and I’ve ridden since I was eight, but I don’t ride any more,” said Jo.
“I used to have six horses and run a small livery yard — it’s a bit devastating.
“It has affected me but I’ve stayed quite positive. I threw myself into working out in the gym trying to strengthen the muscles around the injury.
“Although I can lift lots at the gym those weights are stable and balanced. Shopping is a struggle and I can’t carry logs into the house as trying to get an even load is impossible.
“I have to be really careful what I do as to what will cause pain.”
Jo informed police of her accident but unfortunately the driver could not be traced.
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Jo contacted HorseSolicitor and recently received £34,000 for her injuries and associated losses, from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
The MIB exists to compensate victims of negligent untraced drivers, and uninsured drivers.
*Alias, rider wished to remain anonymous
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