Youngster made national headlines competing in horse show - but it wouldn’t have been possible without the Devon Air Ambulance.

A family from Hatherleigh has expressed its gratitude to Devon Air Ambulance after their three-year-old son was suddenly taken ill.

Harry Edwards-Brady made national headlines when he was the youngest ever rider to compete at the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham NEC.

But things could have been very different were it not for the air ambulance’s swift action six months earlier, in May 2013.

Harry had been suffering from a stomach ache, but his mum, Emma, was shocked to see him fitting later that day.

“It was frightening to see; he started fitting and his eyes rolled to the back of his head,” she said.

“Even when the fit stopped he was unconscious and he didn’t respond to anything.” Emma’s mother and brother, who were with her that day, immediately called the emergency services.

The fire brigade’s first response team was the first on the scene, just ahead of the air ambulance paramedics.

“I was able to go in the helicopter with Harry and the paramedics explained everything on the way to Exeter hospital,” said Emma.

“He had all sorts of tests and was kept in overnight. To our amazement, even just the next day, Harry was so much better and pretty much back to his old self.

“But I’ll never forget how grateful we were that the air ambulance came to our rescue.”

Just two weeks later, Harry proved just how well he had recovered as he rode two ponies in the annual Devon County Show.

And, just five months later, he became the youngest rider ever to take part in the Horse of the Year Show – still only three years old.

Now, the rescue mission is being used to highlight the charity’s night flying campaign.

Debbie Gregory, patient liaison officer, said: “Harry’s incident happened at tea-time, just after 6pm, when Devon Air Ambulance crews were operational.

“If he had become unwell in the winter months, however, when the evenings are dark, the air ambulance would not have been able to attend and Harry would have had to make the lengthy journey to hospital from Hatherleigh by road.

“It is the aim of Devon Air Ambulance to extend their service into the hours of darkness so that, by 2016, incidents like Harry’s can be attended all year round.”