Family of fallen horse rider face anxious wait

Lindsay Hawkins on her horse, Murphy.  Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Lindsay Hawkins on her horse, Murphy. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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A MOTHER-OF-TWO fighting for her life after falling from her horse when youths threw stones at the animal has been described as “a beautiful, lovely, kind-hearted and funny young woman”.

The family of keen horse rider Lindsey Hawkins, including her two young children, are waiting for her to come out of a coma caused by the fall near Rotherham earlier this month.

Ms Hawkins, 28, was riding her seven-year-old Shire Gipsy Cob cross Murphy on a private track when it was attacked by three or four youths. The horse, measuring 16.1 hands or 1.6 metres high, reared and tried to run off, throwing her to the ground. The youths, aged from low to mid teens, then ran off without stopping to check how she was.

Ms Hawkins, mother to an eight-year-old and four-year-old, was rushed to Rotherham Hospital where a scan diagnosed her with bad concussion and she was allowed home after two days.

But later that day she was readmitted to hospital where she underwent surgery for a bleed on her brain and is now in an induced coma.

South Yorkshire Police are appealing for information to track down the teens following the attack at around 5.45pm on May 17 near Duke of Norfolk Lane, at Wickersley.

Friend Sarah-Jane Binder, 33, who owns the livery where she keeps her two horses, said: “Lindsey is such a beautiful, lovely, kind-hearted and funny young woman who is the best friend you could wish for.

“She’s an adoring mother who has two amazing children who are a credit to her. If anyone has any information about who is responsible for this I’m urging them to come forward.

“Look what’s happened as a result of this prank the teens have played - they didn’t mean for this to happen but someone needs to take responsibility for it.

“The doctors have told Lindsey’s family that it’s just a matter of waiting to see how she recovers when she comes out of the coma.

“She’s had damage to her brain stem, the part that controls her breathing, so she’s on a ventilator at the moment.

“The family are coping as best they can, looking after Lindsey’s two little children, but as you can imagine it’s an extremely worrying time for them.”

She added: “It was Murphy’s birthday so Lindsey took the horse out for a ride. She would normally ride with someone else but on that day because of timings she took him by himself.

“She hadn’t been away for long when Murphy turned up at the livery. My parents, who own the livery with me, were there at the time. They went out to look for Lindsey and found her, she’d actually just got up from where she’d fallen.

“My dad rang me to come down, and I went with Lindsay in the ambulance to Rotherham hospital. She was quite disorientated but managed to tell me what had happened. She kept sort of drifting in and out of sleep.

“They did an x-ray at the hospital which showed no broken bones, and a scan which showed she had a bad concussion. They kept her in for 48 hours and then let her go.

“But on the day she came home, she started getting headaches which were getting worse so she went back to hospital.

“They found she had a bleed on her brain so sent her to Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital, where she had an operation the next day.

“She’s been in a coma since then to reduce the swelling on her brain, she’s on a ventilator too. The doctors have said it’s just a case of waiting to see how she improves. It’s critical she’s making improvements.”

Ms Binder added: “I’m frustrated, mad and very upset about the whole thing. We’ve been using that path for ten years and we’ve never had any trouble.”

POLICE have carried out enquiries in the Wickersley area in a bid to trace the youths, including a search on the day of the incident, but have so far had no success.

Detective Inspector Steve Ashmore, of South Yorkshire Police, appealed for witnesses to the incident or anyone with information to come forward.

He said: “We’re also interested in hearing from anyone who has suffered similar problems in the area and will be visiting local stables.

“This incident shows the serious consequences of antisocial behaviour.”

Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote incident number 1204 of 17 May.