Faithfull relives terrifying horse accident

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Jockey Natasha Faithfull is recovery after a nasty horse fall at a beach in Albany.
Camera IconJockey Natasha Faithfull is recovery after a nasty horse fall at a beach in Albany. Credit: Nic Ellis The West Australian

Albany jockey Natasha Faithfull has relived the moment she was almost killed when a horse she was riding fell on top of her, after being spooked following a regular morning beach workout.

Coughing up a large amount of blood and with crushed ribs and lungs, Faithfull thought she might not survive the horrific fall on Middleton Beach near Griffiths Street as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Fellow track rider Tamara Playle immediately came to Faithfull’s aid, moving her onto her side to prevent her from choking to death on her blood or suffocating.

“I do remember it all pretty vividly,” Faithfull said.

“We were walking along and next minute I had fallen on the ground with a horse on top of me.

“I definitely thought I’m in serious trouble when the horse did get off me; just lying there I knew I was pretty messed up.

“I was struggling to breath and was coughing up a lot of blood.

“There was a lot of blood coming up and I owe so much to Tamara; she rushed down straight away and turned me on my side.

“If I was there by myself I would have suffocated or drowned in my own blood.”

Injured jockey Natasha Faithfull with her partner Padraig O'Mahony.
Camera IconInjured jockey Natasha Faithfull with her partner Padraig O'Mahony. Credit: Nic Ellis The West Australian

Now recovering at her home in Belmont, the 25-year-old hoop says she was just grateful that her injuries will heal in time.

“I’m feeling pretty good but I am lucky because everything is going to heal,” she said.

“I’ll get my stitches on either side of my ribs out in the next week, get X-rays on my shoulder checked to make sure I don’t need surgery on that and it still hurts to breathe so making sure my lungs mend properly.

“A lot of (bad horse falls) riders don’t ever get back.”

With injuries such as multiple bone fractures, collapsed lungs and a lacerated liver most people would consider a change in occupation but for the determined Faithfull, that is not the case.

“I can’t give an exact time frame but I’ll be back,” she said.

“I don’t see this like some, I could have walked across the road and been hit by a car and have the same thing happen.

“I love riding and it’s what I do, I’m already bored sitting at home.

“We share a dog-horse beach down in Albany and I just hope this can be a bit of an eye-opener to everyone.

“As horse riders we respect others and all we ask is people give us that back; these are highly strung race horses that are dangerous to ride and the smallest thing can be enough to set them off.”

An abandoned bike left on the narrow beach path back to the carpark was the cause of Faithfull’s horrific accident.

Faithfull will return to Albany next week to spend time with her mother Samantha, who is a horse trainer.

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