MEDICS took more than 40 minutes to reach a teenager who had been dragged along the ground then crushed by her horse.

Poppy Morgan thought that she was paralysed as she lay in agony waiting for an ambulance.

The 17-year-old, who was due to celebrate her birthday the following day, had fallen from her horse in the New Forest.

She was caught in the stirrups and dragged along the ground before the 16-hand mare Lizzie toppled on to her leg.

Ambulance bosses say that the callout was classed as non-serious based on the information they were given, meaning that they had an hour to reach the scene under Government guidelines.

But Poppy, of Hogarth Close in Romsey, feared the worst as she waited for help.

“My first thought was that I could not feel my leg because it had gone numb,” she said. “Then my right side started going numb. I thought I might be paralysed.

“Nobody could move me because they were worried it might make the situation worse. So I was in the same position for ages – it was so painful.”

The drama happened close to the A36 at Furzley Crossroads. An ambulance was called at 11.09am and arrived 43 minutes later.

Poppy, who was comforted by a friend and passers-by, managed to avoid serious injury, suffering bruising to her legs.

Her mum Jenny is furious with the ambulance response time, fearing that there could have been fatal consequences if her daughter had been cut during the fall.

“Had she been cut, she could have bled to death,” she said.

“It is only a short drive from the A36, so I simply don’t understand why there was a delay.”

The incident comes after ambulance bosses apologised for taking more than half an hour to reach a separate horse fall victim.

Sheila Gold, 55, suffered a double skull fracture when she fell close to her home in Tiptoe – before enduring a 39-minute wait for help.

A spokesman from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust said of the latest incident: “On the information provided, the call was categorised as a category C call – non-serious and non-life-threatening – which requires a response within one hour, as per Department of Health guidance.

“We will be contacting the patient directly to discuss the incident and any questions they may have. We would like to take this opportunity to wish the patient a speedy recovery.”