Badminton Horse Trials blog: Sarah Stretton’s on the sidelines

  • This week my routine has dramatically changed, after my injury at Swalcliffe. Usually I’m on the yard buzzing around trying to get everything done as quick as possible, but this week my life has revolved round Jeremy Kyle, Trisha and Come Dine With Me.

    Limited to what I can do in a day, the TV is my new friend, however, there is only a certain amount I can take after a while. Although I have been rendered useless on the yard, I have gone up every day just to catch up on what everyone has been doing and see the horses, but I do find it very frustrating when I can see jobs need doing and all I can do is sit there.

    I’ve tried to keep myself active as much as I can, but I seem to only be able to last a maximum of 2 hours before I feel very tired and my leg starts to ache and swell. My outings haven’t all been horsey, a trip to Sainsbury’s was a highlight of one day that certainly got my heart pumping, dragging myself up and down aisles.

    Gatcombe spectator

    As I said last week, everybody at the yard has been amazing so I’ve got no worries there. Owen Moore (pictured), who has taken over a few of my rides, popped over to ride Bobby (my Badminton ride Lazy Acres Skip On), Johnny (Highbury) and Spider (Lazy Acres Crusader) ready for Gatcombe.

    He had a play on the flat and then popped over some showjumps and skinny fences. Fortunately they all went really well for him so that was a relief for me and, I suppose, for Owen as well.

    There were ifs and buts on whether Gatcombe was going to run or not due to the weather, but luckily it was all systems go.

    It was a real test for me, you don’t realise how far away things are and it was a very long day. Owen did a fantastic job, all three pulled off very respectable tests and double clears in the intermediate or open intermediate. We weren’t too bothered about the time-faults, we focused more on the long term plans and achievements.

    Also Jo Aston had a really good result — seventh in an intermediate — on Weston (a horse I ride for Jane Starkey) so there were smiles all round.

    We have decided not to run Bobby again until I’m better. Owen said the last thing he wanted was to change the partnership that Bobby and I have, so I’ve withdrawn him from Weston Park advanced and I’m praying I’m better for Belton.

    All the gadgets

    My knee is getting better slowly. Gail Williams very kindly came over and brought her assortment of machines to treat me. First she used an ultra sound on the sore and swollen areas of my knee to help reduce swelling and bring the bruising out faster.

    Then she used a blue low intensity laser over my stitches; this kills bacteria cells ready for the red low intensity laser. The red laser delivers large amounts of energy to the tissue therefore quickening the healing process. She then sent me home with an electro magnetic pad to put under my knee for 10 minutes every couple of hours, which also helps the healing process. So hopefully in a week’s time she’ll see the difference and give me more gadgets to use.

    The next event to look forward to is Goring Heath. I obviously had to withdraw my guys, but my cousin Amber Franklin is going with Jacko and Barry (Lazy Acres Buccanner and Lazy Acres Snow Patrol) so I think I’ll go along for the outing and see if I can hitch a lift with someone to help me up the massive hill to the cross-country. That’s probably as exciting as my forthcoming week gets.


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