What Charly did next… Mollie Summerland on her five-star winner’s return from injury

  • Mollie Summerland’s Luhmühlen Horse Trials winner Charly Van Ter Heiden will hopefully be back out eventing this season following his injury last year.

    “He’s back in the school cantering and we’re just very much taking it slowly,” says the young event rider in an interview on this week’s Horse & Hound Podcast.

    “He’s spent the whole time walking up massive hills, so he does look incredible, he probably looks the best he’s ever looked – he’s slightly chunky and looks a bit like a dressage horse, but he feels amazing in himself.

    “Liz Brown, my vet, has been so good and so patient and she never wants to take the risk of running before we can walk. At the minute, Badminton Horse Trials is still potentially on the cards, but if he isn’t going to be fully fighting fit by then, it really doesn’t matter to me. He can just go somewhere else because I’m going to be totally led by all these experts that I’ve got around me.

    “He has nothing to prove to me anymore or anyone. So if we get to go to Badminton together, then that would be amazing. But if not, then that’s fine.”

    Mollie also chats on the podcast about the “massive roller coaster of emotion” after she and Charly Van Ter Heiden won at Luhmühlen.

    She says: “I went to an event not long after coming home when Charly had had his routine scan. He’d come home sound, there were no problems, but I knew he had had that scan and we were told just to wait a minute, not to try and think about picking back him back up for the autumn.

    “I was at a competition with another horse and it was hard because people were coming up to me saying, ‘Oh my God, it was amazing. You must be on cloud nine.’ And all I could think about was that Charly might have this injury at home and I just wanted to burst into tears in front of them all. But I couldn’t say anything at the time, because we didn’t really know what it was or how to manage going about saying about it.

    “It was hard because you’re so happy and grateful you had that result. But then also part of you wants just to fall into a puddle of tears in front of them and say, ‘Actually, it’s not quite like that at home at the moment’.”

    Find out more about Mollie’s epic journey to Luhmühlen, including the time she spend in quarantine in the Netherlands, and the trainers and support team she relies on to help her by listening to episode 89 of The Horse & Hound Podcast here or search “The Horse & Hound Podcast” in your favourite podcast app.

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