A woman was left in excruciating pain with a broken pelvis and miles from help when she was kicked by a horse in a freak accident.
In an agonising two-hour journey across fields, Janine Eaglestone inched her way to her mobile phone left in a tack room by shuffling on her backside and dragging her leg to dial 999.
And when help finally arrived she was whisked to St George’s Hospital in Tooting for emergency care where doctors warned it would be six months before she could work again.
But Janine, who runs a dog day-care business in Copthorne, proved them wrong and was back home walking her dogs within three weeks.
Now her ordeal is to be aired in public when she is featured on the Channel 4 TV programme 24 Hours in A&E which is filmed at St George’s.
This week Janine, 45, recalled her ordeal. “I walk dogs for a living,” she said, “and I have a habit of taking on rescue horses to help give them a nice couple of years at the end of their lives.”
But it was a decision to buy a horse - whom she named Macbeth - that led to the drama.
“I had only had him a week. My stables are very remote in the middle of a field with no road.
“I went up to him, tapped him on the bum and said ‘good boy’ and literally out of nowhere he kicked me and smashed my pelvis,” said Janine.
She was saved from further injury when another of her horses - a pony called Denzil - stood between her and the other horse, Macbeth, protecting her.
“The pain was excruciating. It took me about two hours to get across the field to the tack room and call an ambulance.
“They wanted to airlift me but there was nowhere to land and they ended up putting me into a 4x4 to get me to hospital.”
Once at St George’s, doctors stabilised her condition and operated inserting a metal plate with pins and screws.
“I had no idea how badly injured I was,” said Janine.
Doctors said her recovery would take months - but she was back running her business - Woodland Dogs in Copthorne - within weeks and back riding within two months.
She said everyone had been surprised at the speed of her recovery. Her partner, Daniel Clarke, had even been prepapred to give up his job and run her business while her injuries healed.
As well as running her dog-care business, Janine herself owns six dogs, a tortoise, her horses and a rescue bantam chicken.
Janine’s story will be featured on 24 Hours in A&E in a programme due to be aired this spring.