Medic who attended to injured teenage horse rider ‘struggled’ with his equipment


Charlotte Inglis, a highly respected rider in her own right, told the NSW Coroners Court on Thursday she had walked the cross country course at an equestrian event in Scone with her 17-year-old daughter twice before Olivia’s accident in March 2016.

They were concerned by five of the jumps “as soon as we saw them”, including the jump at which the teenager died, particularly with the jumps’ slim rails, deceptive appearance and absence of a ground line.

Ms Inglis discussed her worries with Olympic silver medallist Shane Rose as they walked with Olivia to the event’s warm-up area.

When the radio call came through that there had been a serious fall, Ms Inglis said she knew immediately it was Olivia and rushed to her side.

“When I walked towards her I asked (medic) David Keys if she was dead because she had her eyes wide open,” she said. “He said ‘No she has a faint pulse’.

“Mr Keys was struggling to work his equipment. I sat beside them and held her hand.” Ms Inglis said Mr Keys was “fiddling” with a breathing machine — pulling it in and out.

Olivia Inglis was killed after her horse fell during an equestrian event. Picture: Supplied by Charlotte InglisSource:Supplied

Olivia’s mother rushed to her daughter’s side, while a medic attended the teenager. Picture: Facebook

Olivia’s mother rushed to her daughter’s side, while a medic attended the teenager. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

Olivia’s parents, Charlotte and Arthur Inglis, arrive at the Lidcombe Coroner's Court this week. Picture: Peter Rae

Olivia’s parents, Charlotte and Arthur Inglis, arrive at the Lidcombe Coroner’s Court this week. Picture: Peter RaeSource:AAP

The inquest heard a doctor did not arrive until 20 minutes after the accident. Ms Inglis and her husband had no idea Equestrian Australia had stopped providing licensed paramedics at events.

“We had no idea that we had a paramedic that was unable to use his equipment,” she said.

“We had always been under the impression that we had the NSW Ambulance service. “(David Keys) was not a trained ambulance officer. He was faced with a dire situation.”

Olivia’s death came just weeks before 19-year-old Caitlyn Fischer was similarly killed during an April 2016 eventing competition in Sydney.

Deputy state coroner Derek Lee is examining the circumstances surrounding both tragedies in a two-week inquest at the coroners court at Lidcombe. Ms Inglis on Thursday said there needed to be a change in the culture of eventing, with riders and coaches encouraged to speak up if they had concerns over certain jumps.

She suggested the designer of a course and an experienced rider should walk the route prior to an event and provide information on jumps and techniques to competitors through an already available app.

“We need more transparency in our sport.

“We need to be able to make informed decisions on whether we want to jump a course.”



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