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24 September 2014
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Inside Out reveals dangers of riding

The terrible toll of deaths and serious injuries in riding accidents has been revealed for the first time in a BBC Yorkshire investigation.


Riding is booming but so are the number of casualties - Yorkshire and Lincolnshire's two air ambulances have seen an increase of 65% in accidents over the past five years.


A report presented by TV vet and keen rider Emma Milne on Inside Out (Friday 23 March, 7.30pm, BBC One Yorkshire & Lincolnshire) reveals that, this year alone, flying paramedics have been scrambled to around 150 incidents - three a week.


And, for them, riding has now overtaken motorcycling as the biggest cause of rural casualties.


Emma said: "I've been riding since I was seven ... but it wasn't until I looked at the statistics and talked to victims and their families that I realised how high the stakes are.


"We cheerfully teach our kids to ride and buy them ponies. Yet many parents wouldn't dream of encouraging them to take up motorcycling."


And Inside Out reveals a report by a leading spinal consultant which concluded that riding a horse is 20 times more dangerous than riding a motorbike.


While you can expect to have a serious motorbike accident once in every 7,000 hours, a serious riding accident happens once in every 350 hours.


Sally Wilson, from Louth in Lincolnshire, was one of the casualties. She is now paralysed and will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.


"I was wearing a hard hat and back protector, but I fell on concrete on my head, and they don't make anything that protects your neck," she said.


Some of the casualties are children. At the age of 13, Lucy Caley, from Meaux, near Beverley, was an experienced rider who enjoyed great success in competitions.


She came off in a paddock near her home and died almost immediately of internal injuries after her horse fell on her.


Her mother Susan said: "It wasn't the horse's fault - and Lucy had come off a thousand times in her life. It was one of those freak flukes - nothing could have been done to prevent it."


But Anne Pickles of Truewell Hall Riding School, near Keighley, told Inside Out that some children are not even being taught the basics of riding.


"We get people who've been riding for three or four years and they don't even know how to mount a horse properly, which is one of the first safety lessons that should be taught," she said.


Inside Out reveals research carried out by the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that most accidents actually occur among the most experienced riders.


BBC Leeds Press Office




Category: Yorks & N.Midlands TV; E.Yorks & Lincs TV
Date: 23.03.2007
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