A HORSE rider had to be air-lifted to hospital yesterday after she was thrown off her horse when it got spooked by five off-road motorcycles.

A 41-year-old woman received life-changing injuries after riding her horse on a bridleway in a wooded area in College Woods, just off of Deadman's Lane, Goring Heath.

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Police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Earley on suspicion of driving a vehicle while over the prescribed limit for drugs and possession of class B drugs.

Another 22-year-old man from Woodley was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injuries by driving and driving a vehicle while unfit through drugs.

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Five off-road motorcycles and white Ford Transit van have been seized in connection with the investigation.

They have both been released under investigation.

The incident happened between midday and 1pm on Sunday, May 17 when her horse was spooked by five off-road motorcycles who were riding in the wooded area.

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The woman was thrown off her horse and the horse landed on top of her, causing the woman to sustain serious and life-changing injures.

The horse was not injured.

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following the incident near the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border.

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Investigating officer PC Chris Weatherley of the Joint Operations Unit for Roads Policing based at Abingdon, said: “We are looking to establish if the bikes that rode past the horse caused it to bolt.

“We also need to establish if the bikes were using the bridleway or footpaths, which would be a public place, or whether they went deeper into the woods, which would have been more private.

“I am appealing for anybody who witnessed the incident at the time who may have seen the horse and rider or off road bikes, to please make contact with police.

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“The injured woman was treated at the scene by the air ambulance medical professionals, but was transported to hospital by land ambulance.

“She remains in hospital at this time in a serious but stable condition.

“Anybody who has any information should make a report online, or if you are unable to access our online services, by calling 101, quoting reference number 43200145217.”