A woman has praised the charity that came to her aid after her horse bolted and she was thrown to the ground.
Vicki Johnson, 23, from Bowburn in Durham, was riding a horse at a friend’s private yard when the animal was spooked and she was thrown to the arena floor in August 2011.
Miss Johnson landed on her hip and was unable to move but managed to alert her mother, Nadia Johnson, 50, who rushed to the yard and phoned for help. The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) were requested to attend and soon arrived to offer their medical expertise.
It was feared Miss Johnson had sustained a serious back injury but after tests it was revealed she had suffered only bruising and was taken to University Hospital of North Durham by road ambulance.
Miss Johnson said: “I can’t thank them and the land crew enough for their fast response. Although I didn’t get a ride in the helicopter – luckily – as I didn’t have serious injuries, I’m still so grateful to them.
“GNAAS were brilliant – they were first on scene and made me feel really calm. They joked that I couldn’t go in the helicopter because I had odd socks on.”
A GNAAS spokeswoman said: “It’s not always easy to tell just how serious a back injury is so although this patient didn’t need to be airlifted it was important that she was assessed by a specialist on scene.”
Miss Johnson continues to ride horses despite an initial loss of confidence after the fall and pays homage to her own horse, Freedom, who she has had since she was 12 and has helped her overcome the accident. The pair compete together in events and gained second place in the last show jumping competition they entered at Mill House Riding Centre in Fishburn.