Skelton takes on Air Ambulance role

By Connie Osborne Thursday 31 January 2013 Updated: 01/02 10:06

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Buy photos » Gold medal winner Nick Skelton OBE. (s)

ALCESTER’S Olympic showjumping champion has been appointed as an ambassador for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity.

Gold medallist Nick Skelton OBE was offered the position along with with fellow equestrian stars Lee Pearson CBE and Carl Hester MBE.

All three of the sporting stars will support the charity by raising awareness and helping with national funding.

The charity is particularly close to Mr Skelton’s heart after he broke his neck in two places in a fall at an event in the summer of 2000.

The Shelfield resident said: “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.

“I am delighted to support the valuable work of all air ambulances and in particular the work of the Midlands Air Ambulance charity.”

According to the Midlands Air Ambulance, horse riders account for more call-outs than all other sporting incidents combined, with remote locations often making it difficult for ambulance vehicles to attend.

Chief executive 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 medallists, all of whom were an inspiration to the country and to us all in the Olympics last year.”

She added she hoped the Olympians would help the charity reach out and build awareness within the equestrian world and wider equine community.

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