Our Golden Horseshoe adventure came to an early and abrupt halt when I realised too late that the leaf covered tree I was about to pass through, heading for a marking flag, had a rather solid thick horizontal branch, I ducked and went low to Spangle but it wasn’t enough and my head and shoulder made impact, at reasonable forward flowing trot speed, and I was knocked off Spangle by the force too. I knew I had to just sit a few mins until I could assess the damage and feel ok from the shock. Luckily another rider, Gillian Talbot, was with me when it happened and soon a few others came upon us too. We weren’t far after a crewing point but had no phone signal so couldn’t call my crew and tell them to get back there. Fellow rider, and friend Francis, rode back to the crew point though as one of the vets, Sarah Coombs, was on course observing that the horses were ok. Francis got Sarah and Della her very able assistant, to come to my aid. Della took Spangle and led her back towards the venue as she was still in competing mode and was best to keep moving away from the other horses. Sarah took me until we got signal to call my crew and the venue and alert them to what happened.
I can’t thank everyone enough for all the help they gave us, Della for walking lots with a bouncy Spangle until we had the trailer out to get her, Sarah for taking care of me, the St Johns First Aiders who were funny and brilliant, Nicky, Mum and Dad who all pulled together and managed to get things sorted and then me off to hospital. My collar bone is broken and I have soft tissue damage. Co-codamol, ibuprofen and arnica being consumed!
Nicky and John have been utterly fabulous and are now chief Spangle handlers and Nicky chief driver for the journey home tomorrow.
It is not how I imagined the competition would go. However, my waterproof jacket was great, put to good test as the weather was pretty dire, Spangle was brilliant on the 11km or so that we did, she had her ears pricked, was full of beans but listening. Keen and well up for the challenge. I was delighted with how she felt and how she was behaving.
It has been an experience – a good one and a bad one all together. Some great new contacts made. Some thoughts for the future. It is all part of the sport!