A NEW defibrillator has been installed at Island Riding Centre (IRC) ­— and Bluebell the pony was on hoof for its unveiling.

The Newport centre says it's delighted to welcome the lifesaving equipment, which will be part of the national database, meaning emergency crews can access it and potentially save a life.

"What better way to start 2021 than with something positive for our community," said a spokesperson for the centre.

"We had a very special lady open this for us ­— Bluebell, our very own riding school pony, who was unfazed by all the balloons blowing around."

Isle of Wight County Press:
Island Riding Centre, Newport.

The staff at IRC are first-aid trained, and have now been trained in how to use the defibrillator for the benefit of the community.

Without early CPR and the use of a defibrillator, only around 2.5 per cent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest survive.

Early CPR and defibrillator use within minutes can raise a person's chance of survival to almost 80 per cent.

The centre says horse riding is a high risk sport, and the defibrillator gives clients and especially parents that extra piece of mind.

Isle of Wight County Press:
The new defibrillator installed at the centre.

“This defibrillator will be accessible to the wider community and several different groups who use IRC ­— not just our horse riding clients but liveries, holiday guests, our cafe guests, charity users, students, disabled people and large numbers of visitors on show days," said IRC owner, Louise Buckner.

"We would like to thank The Community HeartBeat Trust for donating this wonderful, life saving equipment.”