Farming couple Carol and Richard Rettie will attend The Farmers’ Choir performance at Perth Concert Hall later this month, and have shared their experience with RSABI about working with livestock.
In a video interview, they said that people should take extra time to minimise risks. In March 2019, they were handling a bull when the animal panicked, leaving Carol with severe injuries – including five broken ribs and a punctured lung – and requiring surgery to her eyes and ears.
She said that the bull in question was one of the quietest she had ever handled, but that all changed when she was blow-drying him ahead of a visit from a prospective buyer.
“I’d washed the bull and was getting him ready for blow drying when things changed completely in just a matter of seconds,” said Carol. “All I did was flick the drier flex to get a little more length to work with but that simple action startled him leading to me dropping the hose of the blower.
“The hose then started to snake underneath him because I couldn’t turn it off which startled him even more and I got slammed into the side against the gate multiple times. I remember slipping down the gate and thinking, this is it, I’m not getting out of this.”
Luckily for Carol, the bull turned, which allowed her to get out of the pen, however, she doesn’t remember much else after the incident.
At the time, Richard was feeding cattle nearby. When he heard Carol, he rushed around and called the emergency services. “The air ambulance arrived shortly after and they were brilliant. Given the discomfort Carol was in, there was no way she could have travelled to the hospital in an ambulance, and being flown there also cut down the travel time considerably on a busy Friday afternoon,” he said.
Both Carol and Richard said that they were incredibly grateful for the medical support they received. “I can remember the doctor who treated me on the way to Ninewells was so kind. I ended up being known as ‘the bull lady’ in Ninewells and I couldn’t have been treated any better by the doctors and staff there. I am so grateful to them all,” said Carol.
Money raised by The Farmers’ Choir concert is going towards RSABI and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. The event is sponsored by United Auctions and will be compered by Jim Smith. It takes place on the 25th of February at Perth Concert Hall. Less than 200 tickets are available, priced at £20 + fees.
The couple urged farmers to take a few extra moments to assess risks when working with livestock. “Anything can happen within just a few split seconds,” said Richard. “Just try to assess situations to see if there’s a safer way you can do things and avoid putting yourself in potential danger, even if it’s something you’ve done a hundred times. Just be careful, don’t do anything unless it’s necessary and please don’t take a chance.”
For more information go to www.rsabi.org.uk