“The prognosis today is favorable” for the three most seriously injured children, aged 7 to 11, said Professor Louis Soulat, head of emergency services at Rennes University Hospital, during a press briefing on Wednesday morning.
Two children are hospitalized in continuous care at the Sud de Rennes hospital and another in intensive care under general anesthesia but his “vital prognosis is no longer engaged”, added Professor Soulat.
According to the first elements of the investigation, “the children and two companions were taking around twenty ponies to the field. On the way, one of the ponies, probably the lead one, turned around for an undetermined reason, followed by others. In their flight, the animals jostled and overturned the group,” said the Rennes prosecutor’s office.
Two facilitators and fifteen children in total were injured, the same source said. The facts took place shortly before 9:00 p.m. at the Haute-Hairie equestrian center, in Saint-M’Hervé, near Vitré.
According to the prefecture, a “medico-psychological emergency unit” has been set up.
The seriously injured children were victims of “facial trauma following hoof kicks”, in particular “fractures of the bones of the face”, according to Professor Soulat. The two adults suffered from “post-traumatic stress”, according to the same source.
Five children hospitalized on Tuesday evening “have already been returned to their families”, said the prefect of Ille-et-Vilaine Emmanuel Berthier on BFMTV.
The investigation was entrusted by the Rennes prosecutor’s office to the Vitré Research Brigade.
The equestrian center where the events took place hosts a colony of 26 children aged 9 to 13.
According to its website, the Domaine de la Haute Hairie is “located in the countryside, on 20 unspoiled and hilly hectares”. The center offers many activities all year round, including summer camps, with “a maximum of 25 children per week”.