Fes­ti­val-goer badly hurt by model horse

Daily Mail - - News -

A WOMAN is fight­ing for her life in hos­pi­tal af­ter she was struck by a tra­di­tional wooden horse cos­tume at a May Day cel­e­bra­tion, po­lice be­lieve.

Ev­ery year hun­dreds of peo­ple gather in Pad­stow, Corn­wall for the Obby Oss fes­ti­val, held to wel­come the sum­mer. But one fe­male spec­ta­tor, 33, sus­tained se­ri­ous injuries and is in hos­pi­tal af­ter she col­lapsed and needed re­sus­ci­ta­tion.

Of­fi­cers at Devon and Corn­wall po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing re­ports she was hit by the Obby Oss – a large wooden horse cos­tume – while walk­ing on a foot­path.

The tra­di­tional event fea­tures two hobby horses – Old Oss and Blue Rib­bon Oss – that pa­rade through the town. They are large oval frames cov­ered in black oil­skin, which have a small horse’s head at the front with a snap­ping jaw. Male dancers wear them and catch women un­der a black cape as they pa­rade through the town.

But the cel­e­bra­tions were cut short when emer­gency ser­vices were called at 7.30pm on Wed­nes­day when a woman col­lapsed. She was then air­lifted to Der­ri­ford Hos­pi­tal in Portsmouth with a se­vere neck in­jury. Of­fi­cers say the woman, from Pad­stow, re­mains in hos­pi­tal in a crit­i­cal but sta­ble con­di­tion.

A spokesman said they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing re­ports that she may have been struck by the Obby Oss. And of­fi­cers said it was pos­si­ble the woman had also been as­saulted by an­other fe­male ear­lier in the evening. Last night, lo­cals claimed the vic­tim, un­der­stood to be a mar­ried mother-of-two, was in a coma af­ter the ‘un­for­tu­nate ac­ci­dent’.

One lo­cal, who did not want to be named said: ‘If you’re near the horse when it’s swing­ing around you put your hand up to stop it hit­ting you on the head.’

She added: ‘This time... it slipped on the grass and it swung up and gave the woman an up­per­cut to the chin.’

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