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The heroes who saved my Polka

PUBLISHED: 12:38 05 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:12 05 July 2010

ORDEAL: Sadie Hills  recovering at home after her horse fell into a ditch with her underneath the horse.

ORDEAL: Sadie Hills recovering at home after her horse fell into a ditch with her underneath the horse.

A MOTHER has paid tribute to the good Samaritans who came to the rescue of her daughter trapped in a ditch underneath her horse.

Sadie Hills, who lives in Pakefield, was riding Polka along the country roads of Gisleham, on Saturday, when he became nervous and made a bid for freedom towards a nearby field.

A MOTHER has paid tribute to the good Samaritans who came to the rescue of her daughter trapped in a ditch underneath her horse.

Sadie Hills, who lives in Pakefield, was riding Polka along the country roads of Gisleham, on Saturday, when he became nervous and made a bid for freedom towards a nearby field.

But what the ex-household cavalry horse and its owner didn't realise, was that lurking beside it was a huge overgrown ditch full of fly tipped rubbish, which ripped the animal's skin to shreds and left Sadie underneath her beloved companion.

Now the 20-year-old and her mother Sue want to thank the brave female passer-by and the team of builders who came to her daughter's aid during the two-hour ordeal.

Sue said: “To confront a 17.1hh, one tonne heavy Irish draught panicking, distressed horse with disregard for their own safety was over and above the call of duty, we cannot thank you all enough and appreciate the risks you took.

“If it wasn't for all of them being brave enough to pull our daughter out from underneath her horse and out of the ditch, her injuries would, without doubt, have been much more severe.”

The drama unfolded during Saturday morning as Sadie took Polka out with his stable mate Fliss and her owner Sue Dores.

Sadie said: “Polka is an ex household cavalry horse so he likes traffic and people, but he doesn't particularly like the countryside. He started to get a bit funny and a bit scared but I did what I normally do and stood him still, calmed him down and we walked on.

“I tried to push him on, but he just decided to take off with me into the field and we ended up in a huge ditch on the left side of the road. The only thing I can remember is him plunging into the ditch and me falling over his neck and him collapsing on top of me.

“Eventually I managed to make my way out of the side of Polka, it felt like an eternity, but it was probably only minutes.”

Luckily Sadie's screams were heard by a group of builders who came running to her rescue. And by the time mum Sue and dad Paul arrived, a host of strangers were at the scene.

Sue said: “There was one very kind lady who was on the scene straightaway and made all the initial 999 calls and helped Sue with Fliss, but then as everything was going on she melted into the background so I didn't get a chance to thank her, she was fantastic. I think she had fair hair and she was driving a silver car. The builders were also brilliant, they really worked as a team.”

After Sadie was put in the safe care of paramedics, there was a race against time to free 23-year-old Polka with an equine hoist.

Sue said: “He was cutting himself to bits because it was long and narrow and there were televisions in there, but after one last ditch attempt he managed to get a leg on the bank.”

Amazingly after Polka was freed, Sue was able to walk him back to his stables and it is hoped he will return to full health.

Despite doctors initially believing she had a broken foot, arm, leg, shoulder, pelvis and spinal injuries,after three days in hospital and several x-rays Sadie only has severe bruising and temporary paralysis in her left thigh.

“I didn't care about me; I just wanted to get Polka out. I have had him four years and I have never come off him before, He's such a big boy and it wasn't his fault at all. For 19 years he worked for his Queen and country and he is a true soldier,” she added.

Sadie has already been to thank the builders who rescued her, but are you one of them or are you the woman called the emergency services? Telephone The Journal on 01502 525831 or email russell.cook@archant.co.uk

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