British film-maker Guy Ritchie knew his wife Madonna would survive the horrific injuries she sustained in a horse-riding accident on her 47th birthday last month (AUG05), because she is too tough to die.

The LIKE A VIRGIN SINGER suffered a multitude of broken bones - including a broken little finger, five cracked ribs and a double fracture to one of her shoulder blades - in the fall at her English country estate.

And when Ritchie arrived at the accident scene he was shocked by how pale his wife was.

Ritchie says, "I was about five minutes away when it happened. I was worried as she was as white as a sheet.

"But I wasn't thinking she would die - I thought she was too tough for that."

But the 37-year-old was not surprised when she refused to follow doctors orders by carrying on working despite being told to rest for two months.

He continues, "Once you know eight bones are broken, you know there's a legacy of pain to pay for the next two months.

"And those bones can't be set, so you just have to sit there for the next six to eight weeks. But there wasn't a lot of taking it easy - she was up and running in no time."