We are pleased to launch episode six of The Champion Safety Series, a Horse & Hound Podcast Advertising Series, in which our regular host Pippa Roome talks to rider Susannah Stanning, who suffered a serious fall while competing at the Cotswold Team Chase in October 2021, about the incident and the role her hat played in ensuring she is still here to enjoy riding her horses today.
Pippa is also joined by Champion brand manager Helen Riley and Ben Hanna, production engineer at Champion, to talk about how Susannah’s hat performed in the fall, the differences between the different standards, and when riders should replace their hats.
Susannah Stanning lives in Somerset with her professional polo player husband Roddy and has ridden since she was a small child. After moving to Somerset 15 years ago, Susannah started riding out for champion racehorse trader Paul Nicholls, which got her involved in point-to-pointing and from there team chasing. She also hunts.
“I was competing at the Cotswold Team Chase at the end of October last year, riding in a team with Roddy. Unfortunately he suffered a fall in front of me, and this brought my horse down too. My horse suffered a rotational fall and came over and landed on top of my head with his hindquarters, which knocked me out so I don’t remember too much about it after that.
“I was treated at the scene by a brilliant team. We were incredibly fortunate that there were paramedics and a British Horseracing Authority doctor there almost immediately. They assessed me, stabilised me, and called in a road ambulance in order to transport me. They also assessed Roddy. Thankfully, during the time that I was on the floor, I regained consciousness after about five minutes.
“My first recollections after the fall was we’re in an ambulance waiting to go to hospital and I’m thinking: ‘Oh, should I ride again today or am I done for the day?’ I remember very earnestly saying to my groom, ‘I don’t think I should ride the other two, I think you should take them home.’
“So I was taken up to Gloucester hospital and treated there. I had a CAT scan, which thankfully found no bleeds to the brain and no other damage to me, apart from a small fracture to my skull.
“Later that evening, my groom had sent the photos of my hat to me. And I was quite astounded to see the pictures. At that stage, I couldn’t really believe that I was there awake and alive, considering the fall that I’d suffered.”
This is the last episode in the six-part podcast series. You can listen online here – https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/sponsored/the-champion-safety-series-episode-six-a-horse-hound-podcast-advertising-series-781535 or via your favourite podcast app.