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Reference > Erinsborough News > Horse Cripples Dance Star

Real-life Neighbours shock…

A freak run of horse-riding accidents has cast a shadow over the dancing career of lovely Neighbours star Sarah Vandenbergh. Sarah, who plays horse trainer Lauren Carpenter, has been dancing since four and was a professional dancer before winning the Ramsay Street role. But while brushing up on her equestrian skills, she almost lost the use of one of her legs when she was knocked over and trampled by a frightened horse.

Sarah was in so much pain she was forced to spend her first three weeks on the soap sitting down. “I’d destroyed my whole leg,” she told TV Soap. “The accident crushed nerves and tore ligaments – my leg was black and yellow! I tried to get up but I nearly fainted… the pain went right down my leg. I couldn’t even get my boot off.”

This accident happened last November and Sarah, who toured with David Atkins’ dancing troupe for Dancin’ Dynamite, is still unable to dance and she doesn’t know when – or if – she’ll be able to dance again. “I can bend my leg but I can’t jump or rise up quickly. If I try to put all my weight on that leg… forget it!”

Sarah said the fact she may never dance again has crossed her mind but the plucky young star prefers to think positively. “I’ll always have problems with it but I know my mind and I won’t let it get the better of me. Every night I go to bed with an ice pack.”

But Sarah’s hopes of a quick recovery were crushed recently when she was working on set with another horse. “This time the horse was so naughty I hurt my bruised foot again. I screamed and really flipped it – I couldn’t believe I’d hurt the same foot! Being a dancer my first thought was why couldn’t it be my wrist?”

“I was just getting back into dancing again with some slow classes. Now I can’t, for a while at least.” Sarah’s sure she’s been jinxed with horses. “I keep on having run-ins with horses. My mum can’t believe it. My whole life I’ve never had an injury through dancing – and I’ve done everything from jazz to ballet to tap without so much as a sore back. But I’ve been hurt by horses four times in the last six months!”

Despite her bad luck with horses, Sarah is relishing her Ramsay Street role: “Lauren’s got a very bright future. I’m loving playing her!”

This article originally appeared in TV Soap magazine, dated August 1993 and was written by Terri Abraham

Article submitted by Steve


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