A talented young dressage rider is recovering in hospital after a head-on car crash left him with badly crushed legs.

Sonnar Murray-Brown, who hoped to be picked for the young rider dressage squad this year, was a passenger in the car that crashed on Monday, 26 January.

He broke the femur in his left leg and the femur, kneecap, tibia and fibula in his right leg in the accident.

Sonnar, who has already had one eight-hour operation, told: “I’m feeling a lot better than I was last week. I’m being transferred to Oxford for further surgery, but I’m not worried about this as what they intend to do will give my injuries better support.”

The 20 year-old is based at Catherston Stud in Hampshire, home of British Dressage chairman Jennie Loriston-Clarke.

Last year, riding his own horse, Tornado, he won the Elementary Restricted Winter Championships with a score of more than 70 per cent.

The weekend before the crash, he claimed victory in the young rider team test at the Addington High Profile Show on Catheston Liberator. He had been on the waiting list for the young rider squad.

Doctors are yet to give him a time scale for returning to riding but Sonnar said he is determined to start as soon as possible.

“Riding is such a passion of mine, it’s hard not to be competing. But I know I will be back and I am looking forward to it.”

His mum, Janet, said: “Knowing Sonnar, he will be back in the saddle as soon as he can balance on a horse, even if it is riding side-saddle.”