Paralympic and Olympic London 2012 equestrian champions LEE PEARSON CBE, CARL HESTER MBE and NICK SKELTON OBE have today been appointed as Ambassadors for MAAC.

All three TEAM GB equestrian stars who won gold medals in the London 2012 Olympics, will support the charity with its national fundraising and awareness to the equestrian and equine worlds. The charity and its cause is particularly close to the hearts of all three equestrian champions;

Figures collected by the Midlands Air Ambulance show that riders account for more call-outs than all other sporting incidents combined. Road traffic accidents (RTAs) account for 50% of all call-outs, followed by medical emergencies then general falls. Equestrian incidents were fourth, coming in at 8%. Of the 36,547 call-outs it has received since 1991, 2,936 (8%) were equestrian. Other sporting incidents accounted for 2,238.  The service responds to an average of 15 incidents per month from seriously injured horse riders.

Olympic Gold Medalist & International Show Jumper Nick Skelton sustained serious injuries from a fall at a show in the Summer of 2000. The nature of his injuries were so severe, with his neck broken in two places, that the lifesaving work of the air ambulance was critical to his recovery.

TEAM GBNick Skelton commented: “I am delighted to support the valuable work of all air ambulances and in particular the work of the Midlands Air Ambulance charity. Without the rapid emergency assistance and medical care I received from the air ambulance and its crew on that fateful day, I doubt whether I would have come through the accident without some form of severe paralysis.  I like many other individuals, owe a debt of gratitude to their tireless work.” 

Paralympian Gold Dressage Medalist Lee Pearson is also indebted to the  work of the air ambulance. Lee was airlifted by the Midlands Air Ambulance  following a serious  fall from a horse near his home in rural Staffordshire.

Due to the very remote and rural location of where Lee was injured in the Staffordshire Moorlands, it was deemed inaccessible for a land ambulance to reach him. The Midlands Air Ambulance was dispatched and on scene in a matter of minutes.  

Lee Pearson said, “The Midlands Air Ambulance do an amazing job for the general public saving lives, they receive no funding from the Government and rely on donations from the public. The riding and equestrian community in particular greatly values their work. I would urge people to visit the Midlands Air Ambulance website to learn more about the charity and how they can make a donation and a difference.” 

Dressage Master & Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Hester has also witnessed first hand the valuable life saving work of the Midlands Air Ambulance when it landed in fields close to his yard in Gloucestershire to attend to a seriously injured rider airlifting her to hospital.

Carl Hester said; “With horses and riding there is always an inherent danger and risk of serious injury. Often riders are injured or fall from their horses in remote countryside locations, inaccessible by normal land ambulances. In these life threatening situations, the speed of the air ambulance is a vital emergency service that literally can help save someone’s life.” 

Commenting on the ambassador appointments Midlands Air Ambulance CEO Hanna Sebright said; “I am delighted to welcome Lee Pearson, Nick Skelton and Carl Hester as ambassadors of the charity. We are truly honoured to have not one, but three Olympic Gold Medalists, all of whom were an inspiration to the country and to us all in the Olympics last year. The stature of these Olympians will help us reach out and build awareness within the equestrian world and wider equine community.”

Missions completed since 1991: 50,563 | On average we airlift a child every four days | Road traffic collisions make up around 35% of the incidents we attend | The service airlifts on average four horse riders each week.