Lucy rides again after fall from pony resulted in her being airlifted

A BRAVE young girl has got back on a pony after a riding accident in Bellingham, Northumberland, which resulted in her being airlifted.

On April 23, Lucy Henderson, 10, from Kielder Village, was riding her pony, Flash, but as it was about to jump, the pony stopped and threw her off.

Lucy hit the ground and hurt her ankle, so she unclipped her helmet and took off her boot to inspect the injury.

Her father, Matt Henderson, 34, picked her up and put her back on the pony, with the intention of leading the pony back in the stable and then looking at Lucy’s ankle.

When Lucy was seated back on her pony, it unexpectedly began bucking and she was thrown off again, but this time, the injury was more serious.

Lucy’s mother Tracy Irving Henderson, 33, said: “Lucy went flying over the pony and banged the side of her head which knocked her unconscious. The pupil in her right eye was huge and there was next to no blue eye colour showing.

“She showed signs of suffering from head trauma, and needed an ambulance.”

Mrs Irving Henderson wasn’t there at the time of the incident and was waiting for her husband and daughter to return home for tea.

She received a phone call from her husband, thirty minutes after they were due to arrive home, asking her to come quickly to the field where Lucy was riding.

With Lucy showing signs of a potentially serious head injury, the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was dispatched to the scene. After treatment by the aircrew doctor and paramedic, Lucy was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in 12 minutes.

Mrs Irving Henderson said: “Honestly we definitely couldn’t be without GNAAS. As the road ambulance was making its way up, the helicopter had managed to land, get Lucy on the stretcher and take her to the RVI. We live in the middle of nowhere so we see the air ambulance quite a lot, which makes you realise just how much we need it.”

Lucy stayed in the hospital overnight but after thorough checks, she was allowed to return home the next day, a little shaken but relatively unscathed.

She wasn’t allowed to ride for eight weeks afterwards, but now enough time has passed to allow her to safely get back on a pony.

Mrs Irving Henderson said: “She’s back to being Lucy, and is already riding ponies and jumping again, as if nothing has happened, while I’ve got my heart in my mouth, hoping she’s going to be okay.”

Since the incident, nine people from Kielder village including Mr and Mrs Henderson have taken part in a sponsored 26-mile bike ride and raised more than £700 for GNAAS.

GNAAS is reliant on public donations to survive. Last year, the service cost £5.1m to run. It was called out 1042 times across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. To find out how you can help, please call 01325-487263 or visit

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