Teenager’s head gashed to the bone in ‘freak’ turnout incident

  • A teenager whose forehead was gashed to the bone when her fresh horse kicked out hopes to be riding this weekend – and aims to qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton 2018.

    Serena Flower suffered the injury while turning out her 17hh gelding Ocie on 16 February. And although a graphic picture shows the severity of the gash, less than three weeks later it is barely visible.

    The 17-year-old from East Sussex says she does not remember the impact.

    “I was turning Ocie out while my mum was leading my mare Miranda,” she told H&H.

    “They’re going in an electric fence paddock at the moment to save the fields and I turned round to make sure the fence was closed, and he double-barrelled.

    “The next thing I knew, I was crawling on the floor, blood pouring from my head. It was scary but there was no pain, just a stinging sensation.”

    An ambulance was called and Serena was taken to hospital. Although it was initially thought the cut could be glued, it was worse than first thought, needing 10 internal stitches and 15 external.

    But despite the force of the kick, Serena was allowed to go home the same day.

    “I wasn’t knocked out or concussed,” she said. “It’s bizarre; the only thing I don’t remember is the hoof connecting with my head, which is probably a good thing!”

    Serena said she is not sure whether in this instance a hat would have protected her, given the location of the impact, but that she intends to wear one in future.

    “I’ve been around horses since I was born and this was a freak accident,” she said.

    “But from now on, if Ocie’s fresh, I will wear a hat to turn him out.

    “I was incredibly lucky, it was very close. You always think you’d be able to get out of the way in time, but you can’t, it happens in a split second.”

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    Serena was competing Ocie at BE100 last season and Miranda at BE90 but she hopes the mare will step up this season, and her aim is to qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton in 2018.

    “I’m hoping to get on board this weekend; I’ve just got to wait until my hat doesn’t rub the scar!” she said.

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