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Horse show glory for isle teen just weeks after horror fall

Gabriella Spencer placed first in the 1.25 meter amateur competition at The Equerry Bolesworth CSI
Gabriella Spencer placed first in the 1.25 meter amateur competition at The Equerry Bolesworth CSI

A teenager has won her class at an international horse jumping competition just two weeks after being trampled following a horror fall.

Determined Gabriella Spencer overcame her injuries and plucked up the courage to get back on her horse to take first place in the 1.25 meter amateur competition at The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show in Cheshire.

Gabriella, aged 17 of Belton said: “It was our first time jumping internationally and we came second on the fist day, I didn’t even expect to get in the top ten.

“On the second day it was in the big international arena, it was being streamed live and shown on TV so the pressure was on. I just thought let’s go for it and see what happens.

“I was six seconds faster than first place, I couldn’t believe it, I was crying and all the sponsors were crying, everyone was so proud.”

The win came just two weeks after Gabriella was rushed to hospital in an ambulance after medics feared she had broke her fibula and a rib following a fall in Grantham.

Speaking about the fall Gabriella said: “It was going really well and then my horse sort of stumbled and tripped, as he went down I went over his head and then he stood on my leg as he was getting up.

“I was taken to hospital and the paramedics thought I had broke my fibula and a rib. I Googled it and it said it would take six months to heal and I just though oh no.

“It was a massive relief after the X-ray and they said it was muscle and tissue damage and no break, it still hurts now but I just thought let’s get on with it.

“I had a week off riding and then got back on the horse the week before the competition, he was so good in the warm up I just kind of forgot about my injuries.”

It was both Gabriella and her horse Duke of Tell’s first time competing internationally and the duo now have their sights on competing in Spain or Belgium next year.

Proud mum Julie Spencer said: “It was so gutsy of Gabriella to even get back on her horse just weeks after the accident and to go on and win against very tough opposition of all ages, men and women, is a massive achievement. We are all so proud of Gabriella and her achievement.”