‘I thought he’d stop’: rider breaks neck in collision with tractor

  • A mother of three suffered a broken neck and her horse was injured when the pair were hit by a tractor on the road.

    Rosie Archibald, of Honeybourne, Worcs, says she is lucky not to have been paralysed as a result of the accident, which happened on 26 May.

    The 28-year-old has to wear a neck brace constantly for eight weeks, and cannot ride for six to eight months.

    rosie archibald 04

    “I was so upset to be told I couldn’t ride or do anything for so long, when horses are my life,” she said.

    “But I’m alive, I’m not paralysed, so I’m thankful.”

    Mrs Archibald was riding her thoroughbred gelding Rio with a friend when they saw a tractor approaching.

    “It was making lots of noise, but Rio’s used to tractors,” she said.

    “He’s practically bomb-proof, but I could feel him having a look at this one so I signalled at the driver to slow down.

    “Rio got a bit more scared so I asked the driver to stop, but he just kept coming.”

    Mrs Archibald said the driver would have been able to see the horses, but that her signals had no effect.

    “Rio went to spin round but realised his friend was there, so he just stood in the middle of the road, like he was paralysed,” she said.

    “The tractor was about 15 feet away and doing about 20mph. I thought, of course he’ll stop, he’s got plenty of time, but he just kept coming and coming – and he knocked us both over.”

    Mrs Archibald cannot clearly remember the fall.

    But she said: “I opened my eyes and saw the tractor by my foot, and then I saw Rio running away up the road. And the tractor just kept going.”

    The rider initially thought she had escaped unharmed but when she went to hospital, doctors found she had fractured two vertebrae in her neck. She spent a week in hospital and faces an operation in eight weeks’ time.

    “The bone is pressing on my spinal cord, so if I tripped or anything, it could go straight through and I’d be paralysed,” she said.

    rosie archibald 02

    “Rio’s fine. He’s got a deep cut, which is infected, and he can’t be ridden for a bit. He’s better than me, but he didn’t deserve that.

    “That driver has ruined the next few months of my life. My horse is a gem, he’s so safe I’d put my kids on him. We were both wearing high-vis and I asked the driver to slow down – we couldn’t have done any different.

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    I hope not taking two seconds to stop for us was worth it.”

    West Mercia Police confirmed an investigation is ongoing into the incident.

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