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‘I was in agony’ - Mum tells of lucky escape after being thrown off and kicked by horse

PUBLISHED: 18:00 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:59 30 July 2020

Karina O’Brien, from King’s Lynn, was injured after falling from her horse, Foley, at Brancaster. Images: Supplied by the family

Karina O’Brien, from King’s Lynn, was injured after falling from her horse, Foley, at Brancaster. Images: Supplied by the family

Archant

A mum-of-three has told of the terrifying moment she was thrown from the back of a horse and landed face down on the ground, unable to breathe.

Karina O’Brien, from King's Lynn, in hospital after the incident in which she was thrown off her horse at Brancaster beach. Picture: Supplied by MagpasKarina O’Brien, from King's Lynn, in hospital after the incident in which she was thrown off her horse at Brancaster beach. Picture: Supplied by Magpas

The incident happened when Karina O’Brien, from King’s Lynn, was riding her horse Foley on Brancaster beach on July 15.

Mrs O’Brien, 34, said she had driven to the beach with her husband Shaun, and two of her children, aged four and six, for their first family day out after lockdown.

She said: “As we were approaching the walkway to the beach a noisy vehicle came into the car park. Foley took a few steps back and caught his leg on a sharp edge of a metal sign.

“As this cut him he started to buck and bronc. I came out of the saddle and as I fell Foley kicked me in the chest.

Karina O’Brien and her horse Foley, on the morning of the incident at Brancaster beach. Picture: Supplied by MagpasKarina O’Brien and her horse Foley, on the morning of the incident at Brancaster beach. Picture: Supplied by Magpas

“I hit the ground at an awkward angle, ending up face-down in the sand, winded and unable to breathe.”

Luckily, a couple saw the incident from their car and ran over to help.

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Mrs O’Brien said: “I was in agony.

The Magpas Air Ambulance land on Brancaster beach after the incident. Picture: Supplied by MagpasThe Magpas Air Ambulance land on Brancaster beach after the incident. Picture: Supplied by Magpas

“The woman cared for my boys who were shocked by what they’d just seen happen to their mum, while another couple who had horses of their own managed to catch Foley with my husband and get him back in his trailer.”

An East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust first responder arrived soon afterwards, followed by the Cambridgeshire-based Magpas Air Ambulance.

Magpas Doctor Ali Hieatt and critical care paramedic Dan Read gave Mrs O’Brien advanced pain relief, before she was taken by road ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She said: “I was so frightened but they were wonderful, reassuring, and calm.

“I’m lucky to say I only suffered a rib fracture and whiplash, although I was very sore, swollen and had a hoof-shaped bruise on my chest.”

She was able to go home the next day, just in time for her eldest son’s 13th birthday.

Mrs O’Brien, who is the director of a family-run nursery that sells plants online, said it would take her six weeks to heal, but added: “I know it could have been a lot worse.”

She said: “I can’t thank everyone who came to my rescue enough. From Magpas Dr Ali and CCP Dan, the EEAST crew and the staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to the Coastguard and kind strangers who jumped into action to help us - you’re all amazing.”


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