VILLAGERS in Westwood showed true community spirit when they rallied round to help an injured rider who fell off her horse on the bridlepath between Westwood and Iford.

Around 20 people went to find and help the rider, bringing quilts to keep her warm before she was airlifted to hospital with serious facial injures.

The alarm was first raised when a large grey horse, which was saddled up, was seen running through the village without its rider.

Susie Bennett who said: “We saw the horse running down the road from Iford and thought ‘where is its rider?’.

“The village really pulled together to search for the poor lady and I rang the police.

“She was found by dog walkers first who called the ambulance and I stayed with her.

“I really do think all riders should have some sort of tags on their saddles with their details on, like a dog collar really.

“The whole village was so great and it just shows how people come together to help someone.”

Terressa Pearce who helped keep the horse calm had a horse riding accident of her own on the path and knows how dangerous it can be.

She said: “Something does need to be done about rider safety because people do fall off horses.

“All riders should have an arm band, badge or anything in case they have an accident.

“I am a horsey person so was able to calm the horse down, feed it and give it some hay in stables nearby until it was returned to its farm.

“I just wish the poor lady a speedy recovery and I hope she continues riding. It is terrifying having an accident.”