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Top riders lend their support to the Midlands Air Ambulance

Nick Skelton, Carl Hester and Lee Pearson have been appointed as ambassadors for the Midlands Air Ambulance.

All three, who won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, will support the charity with fundraising and raising awareness of its work.

The charity is close to their hearts. Showjumper Nick Skelton broke his neck in a fall at a show in 2000. His injuries were so severe, that the life-saving attention he received from the air ambulance was critical to his recovery.

The Warwickshire-based rider said: “Without the rapid emergency assistance I received on that fateful day, I doubt whether I would have come through it without some form of paralysis.”

Paralympian Lee Pearson was taken to hospital by the Midlands Air Ambulance following a serious fall from a horse at his yard in the remote Staffordshire moorlands.

He said: “The Midlands Air Ambulance does an amazing job for the general public saving lives, they rely on donations from the public. I would urge people to visit their website to learn more about the charity and how they can make a donation and a difference.”

Carl Hester, whose dressage yard is in Newent, Gloucestershire, also pledged his support.

He said: “With horses there is always an inherent danger and risk of serious injury. The speed of the air ambulance is a vital emergency service that can literally save someone’s life.”

Figures compiled by the Midlands air ambulance show that riders account for more call-outs than all other sporting incidents combined. The charity responds to an average of 15 incidents per month from seriously injured riders. Last year alone Midlands Air Ambulance attended 158 equestrian related emergencies.

If a patient reaches hospital in under 60 minutes their chances of survival are increased dramatically. The maximum flying time from anywhere in the five counties that the three air ambulances cover is fewer than 15 minutes.

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