‘He shouldn’t be doing what he’s doing’: dressage horse defies vets’ prognosis

Three years ago, vets said that Michelle Wyatt’s Westfalian gelding Eduardo would never compete above elementary level. However, “Ted” has proved them wrong in emphatic style, landing an inter I victory at Keysoe’s High Profile show (6-9 December).

International rider and trainer Sarah Turner took over the ride on the Ehrenpreis gelding in 2016 while Michelle was rehabbing him after injury.

“At the time he wasn’t very good to stable away at competitions, and there was an incident in which he ruptured a bone cyst on his short pastern and also suffered collateral ligament damage,” Sarah explained. “He had six months off before Michelle slowly started bringing him back into work, but she had a full-time job, so I started riding him.

“It’s been a long road, and he really shouldn’t be doing what he’s doing — the vets said he’d never compete above elementary.

“We took him for anther MRI scan when we started doing the inter I work — I wanted to make sure we weren’t doing any damage, and the vets were interested too, from a research point of view. But there was no change — all the ligaments had healed really well.

“His injury was in front, and I’ve spent a lot of time training him to really take the weight behind, to take as much pressure as possible off the forelegs.”

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The pair scored just a fraction below 70% to lead a competitive inter I class — on Ted’s third ever attempt at the level — and have their sights set on the Premier League circuit and some international shows next year.

“We’re not in a rush, and we won’t push him, but I’d like to have a go at inter II before too much longer,” said Sarah, who trains with Emile Faurie. “I think he’s got what it takes to make it to grand prix — he can passage like a demon!”

Don’t miss the full report from Keysoe’s High Profile Show, out on 20 December.

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