‘The surgeons were in awe’: hat and body protector credited for saving teenager from serious injury

  • A 16-year-old rider has credited her hat and body protector for saving her life in a cross-country fall.

    Wakefield-based Charlie Wells was competing at Rockwood Pony Club’s High Hoyland Hunter Trials on 4 September when the accident took place.

    Charlie and her pony Honey were jumping in the pairs class and fell at the fourth fence of the 70-80cm course.

    Honey hit the jump and turned over.

    Honey landed on top of Charlie, who was knocked unconscious in the fall.

    She was airlifted to Leeds Hospital where it was discovered she had sustained two fractures in her pelvis and broken both her hips.

    She is now recovering at Pinderfields Hospital.

    Charlie was wearing a new Gatehouse HS1 hat at the time of the fall and a Racesafe body protector.

    “I am so grateful to them for saving me from a worse injury,” said Charlie.

    The teenager cannot remember anything from the competition after warming up for the class.

    Charlie’s mother Steph, who was fence judging at the event at the time of the accident, added: “The surgeons were in awe of how her hat and back protector saved her.

    “Charlie is doing really well considering what happened.”

    14-year-old Honey, who the family has owned for three years, was not injured in the fall and is back at her yard in Huddersfield.

    Charlie has competed the mare up to BE100 and the fall was “completely uncharacteristic” for the pair.

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    They were in the class to provide a lead for Charlie’s friend, whose pony needed to build his confidence.

    “It was just one of those things,” said Steph.

    “It was a mistake that the pony made and a very rare one. We think she just misjudged the fence.

    “Honey is very well and back to her cheeky self.”

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