A young eventer is making fresh calls for riders to focus on their safety after she narrowly avoided serious injury during a fall.
Freya Petrie has credited her riding hat with saving her life after her pony fell on her last month. Although she was suspected to have a broken neck, she escaped with just bruising.
The 26-year-old was jumping her horse Lyle on Tuesday 17 March when the horse fell.
The pair were jumping a double and Lyle tripped and fell onto his knees at the second element.
Freya was thrown onto the ground, and the pony fell on her. As Lyle went to get up, he stumbled and fell again.
“Her whole head seemed to be crushed into her body and I couldn’t see any of her face at all,” said Freya’s coach, Sarah Oakden.
Freya was taken to hospital with a suspected broken neck and head injuries. However, she was diagnosed with minor injuries and bruising.
“My riding hat, although it looks relatively intact, has cracked at the front and the side panel that he came down onto has buckled completely,” she said.
“If I had not been wearing a helmet am certain that the outcome of this fall would have been so much worse.”
“It’s so important all riders, no matter what discipline, ensure they are protecting themselves by wearing a riding hat that meets all approved standards and has been fitted correctly.
Sarah added: “It’s crucial to always wear a riding hat, not only when you are riding a horse, but whenever you are handling a horse from the ground. Freya was wearing a Just Togs JTE Sprint Excel, and is sure it saved her life.”