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£1600 raised for Air Ambulance who helped save the life of hunt supporter

A year on from an accident that changed the life of a hunting man, a donation of £1600 has been made to the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance to recognise the important role the service played in saving his life. 

A year ago today, on 4 February 2023, Michael Elson fell from his horse whilst trail hunting with the Belvoir Hunt. It was clear almost immediately that the 74-year-old was unable to move and members of the field soon realised the seriousness of the situation. Michael was airlifted to Queens Medical Centre (QMC) where it was discovered that he had fractured his C4 and C5 vertebrae and had also suffered spinal cord damage.

It was a worrying time for all those who witnessed his fall, particularly during the first few days afterwards. Michael was told that the likelihood of him walking again was minimal. This is the type of news everyone dreads, however, with his tremendous support network of family and friends, Michael was helped hugely over the following months. 

With small improvements made day-by-day, Michael was able to walk with the use of a frame just three months later. At a meet hosted by the Elson family on 2 December, over £1,600 was raised for the air ambulance in recognition of the incredible service they provide. Michael was able to stand amongst the hounds to thank all the people that in his words “saved his life that day.”

Michael’s daughter, Frances Moulaert, said:

“He is now walking mostly unaided, and we are still seeing improvements. He is one determined man!”

Polly Portwin, Director of the Campaign for Hunting at the Countryside Alliance recognised the importance of acting swiftly in the case of emergency.

“Thanks to the quick thinking of his fellow riders that day, along with the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, Michael has lived to tell the tale but it is a stark reminder to all how quickly life can change.

“Michael’s family and hunt supporters recognise the importance of supporting charities like the air ambulance and regularly raise funds and make donations to good causes that help anybody in need,” continued Polly. “Last year hunts across the country raised in excess of £450,000 for different charities and other organisations which demonstrates their commitment to helping those in their local and wider communities.”


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