Tim Stockdale has told H&H he is taking things “very quietly” since returning home after six weeks in a spinal injuries clinic with a broken neck.

But the Olympic showjumper hopes to start riding again in the New Year.

“I go for more scans in the first week of January,” he said.

“That will give us a better idea, but all being well, I hope to get back on a horse in late January or early February,” he added.

Tim fractured three vertebrae in a fall from a young horse he had gone to try in North Wales .

Doctors at the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries in Oswestry immobilised him to help the injury heal.

He took his first steps since the accident last Wednesday and was allowed to go home to Northamptonshire the next day.

Tim told H&H: “I am still in a collar and the old legs are very weak – I went round the yard seeing everybody when I got back and suffered for it the next day.

“But I’m feeling positive. I thought I’d feel more frustrated, but I realise how lucky I’ve been. This is a serious fracture and I am fully prepared to give it the respect it deserves.”

His wife, Laura, told H&H it was a relief to have her husband home. “He’s doing as he’s told at the moment – but I’m not sure how long it will last!” she said.

“We hope to go to

The Stockdales asked H&H to pass on their thanks for the “hundreds” of letters, Get Well cards and emails.

“It’s been very humbling,” said Tim. “They certainly helped during the dark days.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (1 December 2011)