A MUM today told how she was left “frozen in fear” as her seven-year-old daughter was thrown from her pony at an equestrian show.
Natalie Young was among the onlookers at Penshaw Equestrian Centre who witnessed Tamzin fall from her mount after it suddenly bolted.
The 30-year-old, from South Hylton, said she feared the worst when the schoolgirl was left screaming in agony as friends dashed to help her.
“I had no idea what was happening,” said Mrs Young. “I was frozen in fear. I couldn’t move. She could have been trampled on.
“All I could see was my daughter on the floor, screaming.”
Tamzin, a pupil at Grindon Hall School, was taken to a nearby medical walk-in centre where she underwent x-rays, which later revealed a broken elbow.
“We didn’t know how serious her injuries were or if they would be permanent,” she said. “We were scared stiff.”
Mrs Young said her daughter, who was taking part in a riding holiday week, has been left traumatised by the accident.
“It has been a few days now since it happened and she still won’t go near her pony,” she said. “Before, riding was her life. She loved every minute of it.
“This has totally changed her.”
Mrs Young said the 13-year-old pony Sunny, which belongs to the family, was “spooked” by horses, which were being ridden close by through a neighbouring field.
“Tamzin has been riding for four years,” she said. “She is experienced and this would never have happened if her pony had not been frightened by the horses.
“He just bolted when they ran up behind him.”
Mrs Young, who claims the horses were ridden too close and too fast to her daughter’s pony, said she has submitted a formal complaint about the equestrian centre to the British Horse Society, which aims to maintain and improve welfare and safety standards, and is taking legal advice over the incident.
Mangers at the centre said they deny the allegations.
Joanne Roseberry, of Penshaw Equestrian Centre, said: “Penshaw Equestrian Centre has been open for 34 years and approved by the British Horse Society for over 20 years.
“Horseriding is a very enjoyable, but very high-risk sport.
“Unfortunately, Tamzin Young had a fall from her own pony, Sunny, on Friday, August 3.
“This happened on the fifth and final day of her riding holiday while taking part in the gymkhana show.
“Our team of British Horse Society-qualified instructors dealt with this matter in the way in which they are trained to do so.
“We wish Tamzin a speedy recovery and wish her well in her quest to develop with her pony and wish her continued enjoyment and success in the future.”