MALMESBURY event rider Polly Williamson is making progress in hospital after suffering head injuries and three broken vertebrae when falling from her horse last month.

Her condition is continuing to improve after doctors at Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital placed Polly, 41, into an induced coma to allow the fluid and bruising on her head to subside.

Polly was riding at home in Charlton Park when her horse spooked in high winds and fell, trapping her underneath.

She has now regained consciousness and is recognising friends and family. The equestrian world has rallied around her husband and two young sons, with many well-wishers taking to social networking sites to express their joy at her recovery.

Polly is expected to stay in Frenchay Hospital for some months, with the prognosis that she may not ride again in the near future. Some of her horses may be sold.

Polly is a former European Young Rider Champion, who won six European gold medals in the 1980s and 1990s. She has also competed at Badminton and Burghley.