Five weeks ago, Suzy Feltham thought she had lost her beloved coloured show horse, Star Dream, for good after going through one of the worst winters of her life.

‘Dexter’, a 16.1hh coloured gelding, suffered a hairline fracture in his pelvis in October. Then after being on box rest until January, he developed an ulcer in his eye.

“It was honestly such a hard winter,” said Suzy. “After several operations on the ulcer, me and the amazing vets at the Royal Veterinary College made the decision to have his eye removed. There was nothing else we could do.

“To make things worse, he then developed a serious infection — I thought I was going to lose him.”

Dexter’s eye was removed eight weeks ago leaving him with just a socket on one side of his face. He’s been discharged from the veterinary hospital for just five weeks.

“I didn’t think we’d be able to come,” she added. “He loves to be out and about, so when he was recovering well, I decided to bring him.”

Dexter, who was placed sixth under-saddle at the Royal International last term with Georgia Aungier, made a fighting return to the show ring to stand third in a strong non-native horse in-hand class.

“The judge didn’t even notice his eye, and also commented on how well he looked and moved for his age. For me, I’m just delighted to have been able to get him out after his awful winter — he’s been on box rest for a total of eight months.”

At home, the incredible coloured is back out in the field enjoying life, and will be returning to competition under-saddle at the end of the month at Surrey County.

“I never thought we’d make it to Windsor — but he absolutely loved being able to show off again.”

Don’t miss next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (17 May 2018) for full reports and coverage from the Royal Windsor Horse Show

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