Shropshire MP Owen Paterson fractured three vertebrae in a fall over the weekend and is being treated in hospital
Former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson has broken his back in a horse riding accident, it was revealed today.
The Shropshire MP fractured three vertebrae in a fall over the weekend and is being treated in hospital.
Speaking from his bed, Mr Paterson said he was ‘lucky’ not to have suffered more serious injury.
He plans to keep up with constituency work by email this week but hopes to return to parliament soon, he told local paper the Shropshire Star.
Mr Paterson is a keen participant in country sports, and in 2011 took part with Rose in the Mongol Derby – renowned as the toughest horse raid in the world.
The former environment secretary’s horse fell while he was riding on Saturday, and after going to A&E at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital he was transferred to the specialist spinal unit at Oswestry’s Orthopaedic Hospital.
‘Apparently I was very lucky not to have suffered more serious injury,’ he said.
‘I have been told that I have to have complete bed rest, so I will not be going to London, at least for this week. But I am constantly in touch with the office.
‘I was so relieved to be in this incredible, world class unit at the Orthopaedic hospital in Gobowen. The staff are exceptionally professional, exceedingly caring and have a huge amount of expertise.’
Mr Paterson and his wife raised £60,000 for the hospital where he is being treated when they took part in the Mongol Derby.
He said: ‘Ironically it is the toughest horse race in the world, 14 hours a day of hard riding for nine days on 25 different and very difficult horses.
‘Fellow riders broke ribs, shoulders and other bones in falls during the race. Rose and I always said we were so lucky to complete it unscathed.’
Mr Paterson was a champion of country sports when he served as environment secretary during the coalition government.
Mr Paterson is a keen participant in country sports, and in 2011 took part with Rose in the Mongol Derby – renowned as the toughest horse raid in the world