Rider’s warning after toe smashed while wearing slip-on shoes *warning: graphic image*

A rider who needed surgery after she fractured her toe in three places when her mare stood on her has urged others not be complacent about footwear around horses.

Lottie Crowne-Spencer, 20, from Essex was taking part in a photoshoot with her horse Millie on 26 August when the mare accidentally stood on her foot.

Lottie told H&H: “I was helping out a photographer who wanted to take a couple of photos of horses for a portfolio. I was about to go home and was wearing slip-on shoes when we decided to take a last few photos. As I led Millie she got a bit fed up with the flies and stood on my foot, twisting as she did so.

**Warning: graphic image** 

“My foot was bleeding and the nail had been taken off my big toe. My boyfriend Lewis’s parents are paramedics so they came to the yard to clean and dress my foot and said I should go to hospital.”

Lottie’s dad Andrew took her to hospital where she was kept overnight.

“I was taken for X-ray and it was found I had an open fracture and two little fractures to my big toe. I also nicked a vein and it was bleeding profusely. I thought I would be told my toe was broken and be going home but because due to risk of infection I was kept in,” said Lottie.

“The next day I was taken to theatre and given local anaesthetic while my big toe was manipulated back into place and the vein was sewn up. The doctor had to peel the skin back to check for damage of the nail bed but luckily it’s ok.”

Lottie, who is going into her second year of equine studies at Writtle University on 23 September, returned home after surgery and needs to rest her foot for six weeks.

“I need to get the dressing changed every three to five days. I’ve been given a boot so I can walk a little on my heel but the problem is when I walk it causes the cut to bleed again so I need to rest while it heals,” she said.

“I need to ride for my course so I don’t know what I’m going to do – it’s a nightmare. I’ll try and get on as soon as I can but at the same time I don’t want to risk my toe so I don’t know when I’ll be back on.”

Lottie was due to ride to ride at the unaffiliated dressage Sunshine Tour Championships at Hickstead on 12 September.

“I had qualified with Millie in the intro B and prelim 12 tests. I am absolutely gutted I won’t be able to go but these things happen,” she said.

Article continued below…



Lottie posted online about her injury and has urged others to wear boots around horses at all times.

“I want people to be aware of what can happen. I think we can get complacent about not wearing boots. I’ve had a lot of responses from people who have had similar injuries and a lot of people have said my injury has made their toes curl and they’ll make sure to wear boots now,” she said.

“You might think you’ll be ok but it just takes a split second.The funny thing is my mum had told me to be careful and asked if I would be ok wearing those shoes and I said ‘I’m only leading her up and back – I’ll be fine’ – then this happened.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.