Published: 17:38, 30 October 2020
| Updated: 17:39, 30 October 2020
A show jumper who quite literally ‘got back in the saddle’ after a freak riding accident left her with life changing injuries has been nominated for a national equestrian award.
Philippa Wratten from Barming has been shortlisted for her bravery in the Horse and Hound Award’s Amateur Rider of the Decade category.
It comes after Miss Wratten, who has been riding since the age of three, refused to quit after she was kicked in the face by a horse while competing.
The accident which happened two years ago caused fractures to her left eye socket, nose and cheek.
She has already had three operations and is due to have a fourth when the pandemic allows.
The 33-year-old police officer said: “I was leading one of my horses who had been injured and locked up for a few months while he recovered so he was full of energy and a bit over excited.
“I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I was knocked unconscious, and blue lighted to hospital.
“Half of my face looked like I’d had a stroke, I couldn’t smile or blink. I didn’t have any taste or smell either.”
She now has to have regular muscle injections but thankfully has only been left with a few scars.
After three days in hospital, and two weeks at home, she was riding again, determined not to let the accident affect her passion.
Just six weeks after that, she defied the odds winning her first competition post injury.
“Everyone was a bit cautious and said they didn’t think I should do it but I literally just had to get back on the horse,” she said.
“The longer you’re out of it, the harder it is to get back sometimes.”
While looking after horses is a full time job for most, Miss Wratten, who has four horses in Staplehurst, does everything by herself often after a busy shift on the force.
Her courage inspired her friends to nominate her for the awards due to take place virtually on December 10.
She described the moment she found out as ‘emotional’ after a busy day dealing with the attempted theft of a cash machine in Westerham.
Voting is now open for all 12 categories and will close on Thursday, November 5.