Horse rider breaks back for the second time

Kristine Hewlett with Cher, photo courtesy of Natalie Briggs NJB Photography
Kristine Hewlett with Cher, photo courtesy of Natalie Briggs NJB Photography
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A horse rider who is recovering from her second broken back in the last two years has revealed she was riding the same horse during both


Kristine Hewlett, aged 25, was airlifted to hospital on Saturday afternoon, after she was thrown from her horse, Cher, during a riding lesson at the White Horse Equine Centre, in Woodford Halse, near to Daventry.

Kristine, from Byfield Road in the village, was airlifted to hospital where it was confirmed she had suffered a L1 fracture of the spine.

She said: “We were doing some work without the stirrups and my horse went into canter and I panicked, which made her panic and we ended up doing, quite literally, the wall of death.”

Kristine was thrown from her horse, landing awkwardly in a crumpled heap on the ground. She said: “I was pretty badly winded. I lay there for a couple of minutes and tried to get up but I couldn’t. We phoned for an ambulance but we were then called back to ask if there was a field for the air ambulance to land in.”

She was then treated by paramedics from the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) before being flown to Coventry, where she was back on land just eight minutes later.

Kristine, who now faces six weeks off work followed by a lengthy rehabilitations process, said she was indebted to the care she was given by the air ambulance staff.

She said: “I think most people would rather not be strapped down on a board and flown to hospital. But I would urge anyone who is ever offered an air ambulance to take it. They were fantastic.”

Amazingly it was the second time in two years that Kristine has suffered a broken spine, both times while riding Cher. On the first occasion, in July 2011, the horse reared up and fell back on top of her.

She admitted: “I’m not going to ride her again, but hopefully I will be able to ride again in the future.”