As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics gets well underway, University Hospitals of North Midlands major trauma consultant Diane Adamson has revealed she has high hopes to represent Team GB as a Para Olympian.
The emergency medicine consultant and talented horsewoman has received her Para grading confirmation which will potentially allow her to compete as a para rider in the Paralympics if selected.
Today Diane from Cheshire said she was thrilled to receive the grading and has now started training in earnest with the renowned horse trainer Pammy Hutton at the Talland School of Equitation in Cirencester.
She said: “I have always ridden but when I went through Medical School I was a single mum of two, I couldn’t afford to carry on at that point – the children came first. When I finished my degree and got my first jobs I saved up and bought a horse.
“I train with Pammy twice a month. It’s a seven-hour round trip but it’s worth every second. She has so much experience with riders and para-riders and I am very lucky that she allowed me onto her regular list of clients.”
Diane, who is based at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, now has four horses and lives at her family farm with husband Stuart, as well as three dogs. Her son, Joe, is a Gurkha officer in Brunei, daughter Abbie is a solicitor and step-daughter Hannah is in her second year of studying psychology at university.
She said: “The horses are my best friends. Having to look after them and having a routine, particularly during the last 18 months and the Covid pandemic has kept me well, mentally. If I have bad cases at work then I go into the stables and spend time with the horses I find just being around them very calming.”
Diane specialises in dressage as a serious accident at medical school, unrelated to riding, has made other riding styles more difficult for her.
She explained: “I suffered a knee injury following a nasty fall, unrelated to riding, which caused serve nerve damage and required multiple joint reconstruction surgeries as well as a transplant and stem cell treatment. Following it riding was increasingly difficult because I don’t have a leg that works normally.
“I decided to focus on classical dressage as learning the movements means that I am much more in control and feel much safer. I do jump my horses but not competitively. Getting official para grading now means I can compete against athletes that have similar challenges with riding- that being said the standard is extremely high in all grades. The process to be graded was really difficult and involved a physical, mental and medical assessment. Unfortunately it was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the amount I was working to support the medical response. However, I am thrilled that I might now be in a position where I can achieve my dream and compete in something I love.”
Diane is also the voice of authority on all aspects of rider safety after being appointed Chief Medical Officer for the British Equestrian Trading Association (BETA). She is set to spearhead initiatives to improve the reporting of equestrian accidents, assist with BETA’s safety courses for riding hat and body protector fitting and provide safety advice and guidance.
She said: “It is great that I can combine my passion for horses and riding together with my knowledge as a major trauma consultant to make a difference.
“Medics understand the potential for injury in a motor accident, but they don’t always when it comes to equestrian incidents and this is something I also hope to change.”
Diane also launched All the King’s Horses Instagram and Facebook pages during the pandemic to help educate riders about how they should respond following an equestrian incident.