Rachel Higgins & Jacqueline Thompson share their story with you
“It was no surprise I was out riding – the day I saved someone’s life” explains Rachel Higgins who was 13 at the time. “My horse Lleurer and I stopped because of a horrible sight. We were cantering when we saw a body on the ground.”
My heart was racing, I was scared and shaking. The woman’s horse had run off. She was unconscious, alive, but only just. Blood was dripping from her ear and nose.
I started feeling really sick, I was the only one around. I called for an ambulance but being in a National Park the signal dropped out before I finished. I called again and repeated all the details.
While I was waiting two men stopped to help. They wanted to remove her helmet and put her in the coma position. It was scary being 13 and telling adults what to do. I knew I had to stand firm and do it though.
I’d learnt from Pony Club to leave the helmet on, to look for the rise and fall of their chest to tell if they’re breathing and ideally – don’t move them.
When the ambulance finally drove away, I felt scared for the woman and panicked that I might not have done enough. I hoped she’d live to ride again.
“Hello, it was me that was so lucky Rachel was out riding that day. She saved my life.”
After waking from the coma I spent two years re-learning basics, like walking and talking! It was a scary time not knowing if I’d recover. Thankfully whilst I have a ‘severe’ brain injury, I’m alive and well.
Little did Rachel know she’d save two people that day!
After dragging me, my horse got free and took off. He found horses and raced up their driveway, neighing loudly.
On the porch was a retired jockey enjoying some beers. He decided he’d go find the fallen rider! His daughter reminded him he’d been drinking but he rode off anyway.
Around this time Rachel’s brother and dad arrived at the National Park gate. They heard hooves pounding hard, approaching. To their surprise a horse galloped from the bush into the clearing where they were parked.
Even Steven Spielberg couldn’t have scripted it better. My horse got a fright at the car, put on the skids and ejected his rider. Splat – unconscious jockey! Wow what a bad day my horse was having.
Then the ambulance arrived. Quickly Rachel’s dad explained that this wasn’t the person they’d been called for. No worries – the sound of an approaching siren fixed everything. The second ambulance arrived!
Whilst Rachel received a Bravery award and lots of praise, no award will ever be enough for what she did that day. She will always be my hero.
Post rehab I’ve been working with some really talented (and fun) people to create a unique entertainer, called HorsePLAY®.
As soon as the shipment of HorsePLAY® arrived, I addressed the very first one to be sent to ………….. Rachel.
For your own box of Horse Lovers fun, click here.