CFAV recognised for Royal Humane Society Award

24 July 2019

Christina Winch from Beds & Herts ACF has been awarded a prestigious 'Testimonial on Vellum' award by The Royal Humane Society for her fast thinking at a recent First Aid incident. This is one of the Society's highest awards just below the Life Saving Medal.

Christina was riding her horse when she saw a fellow rider's horse lose its footing while crossing a narrow bridge. The female rider was thrown into the ditch with the horse falling on top, pinning her down by her legs. Christina immediately dismounted and got into the ditch to control the horse and keep it calm to minimise further injury to both the rider and the horse.

At only five-foot tall, Christina found it difficult to keep the horse from thrashing around. The ditch was deep and she realised that moving the horse was not an option as that would crush the rider. Despite being in great danger, and having been kicked by the horse, Christina stayed with the woman, who was alert but in pain and suffering from shock.

Christina told another rider to call an ambulance and a vet, and instructed the rider to go to the nearby stables a mile away to guide the rescue party to where she was. An hour later the emergency services arrived on foot. During this time Christina had monitored the woman’s vital signs and given her reassurance.

Christina worked out that she could move the horse slightly allowing Fire and Rescue to pull the woman free. The whole incident lasted about three hours during which time Christina suffered severe bruising to her leg and was treated by paramedics at the scene. The woman remained in hospital for two days, but is now recovered.

Christina said: "When the accident happened I just went into the training mode and kept calm reassuring the lady who was underneath the horse. I must admit when the horse tried to get up and crush us both it was very dangerous at the time.

"All I could think of was don’t let him crush the lady’s chest as she would not survive. She was very brave and asked me not to let her die. I told her to keep calm and to take deep breaths and I wouldn’t let that happen.

"I have been teaching First Aid for over fifteen years at cadets and never thought I would have to use my training. If it wasn’t for this valuable training we get I don’t know what would have happened."