Festival-goer badly hurt by model horse
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.’