A promising young rider is today in a serious but stable condition at Wellington Hospital after her horse bucked and then kicked her as she fell at an event at Takapau, yesterday morning.
Lauren Dolan, from Dannevirke, was competing at the Hawke's Bay Area Pony Club & Central & Southern HB Eventing ODE & Area Trial at Arran Station when she was injured.
Ms Dolan, 18, works for eventing rider and NZ Talent Development Squad member Amanda Pottinger who said that the horse bucked her off, and then kicked out with both hind feet hitting her in the face.
Ms Pottinger was at Ms Dolan's side while they waited for the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter that was called out at 10.30am.
An Intensive Care Paramedic from Medics On Scene attended to Ms Dolan who also sustained a broken collarbone.
Taken initially to Hawke's Bay Hospital in a critical condition, she was then transferred to Wellington Hospital where she is due to undergo surgery today.
"She should get through what's expected to be two surgeries - it will be a long recovery but her injuries are repairable," Ms Pottinger said.
Ms Dolan was conscious while waiting for the rescue services to arrive, and was very brave throughout, she added.
Earlier this month, Ms Dolan, who has worked for Ms Pottinger part-time for the last two years, competed at the Horse of the Year event in Hastings, where she won the Youth Rider of the Year and Paced and Mannered Pinto of the Year.
A part-time extramural student at Massey University, Ms Dolan had just started working part-time at Farmlands in Hawke's Bay.
Ms Pottinger said it was a freak accident that could not have been prevented.
"It was no-one's fault - she had been on the horse for 10 minutes before it happened - it's just one of those things."