SOUTH Central Ambulance Service has apologised for taking more than half-an-hour to get to a woman who suffered a double skull fracture in a horse-riding accident in the New Forest.

Sheila Gold, 55, from Tiptoe suffered the serious head injuries when she was thrown from her mount and then kicked in the head just a few yards from her home.

She is currently in a “stable” condition in Southampton General Hospital following a 39-minute wait for an ambulance.

The alarm was first raised by Caroline Clegg, wife of Radio Solent presenter Julian, when Mrs Gold’s horse Gypsy returned without its rider.

A fire service co-responder from New Milton and BASICS life-saving charity’s Dr Nick Maskery gave Mrs Gould, who was wearing a helmet, oxygen until the ambulance eventually arrived and took her to hospital in Southampton.

An ambulance spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing the incident and cannot therefore make any further comment until we have received the results of that review.

“We would like to apologise for the delay and the distress caused to the patient and their family.”