5 heroic horses winning with only one eye

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  • With the news that a one-eyed horse called Patch has been entered into the Kentucky Derby this Saturday (6 May 2017), Horse & Hound celebrates some other competition horses that adapted well and kept on winning after after losing an eye

    Adventure De Kannan

    Trevor Breen’s showjumper (pictured above) was a popular winner of the 2014 Hickstead Derby, after finishing as runner up in 2013.

    The “one-eyed wonder horse” graced the cover of Horse & Hound after Hickstead, as well as being featured in mainstream media after winning by just 0.02s in the jump off — ahead of the 2013 winners Phillip Miller and Caritiar Z.

    The gelding had his right eye removed in 2013 due to a long-term infection. And it clearly had no adverse effect.

    “He’s got an enormous heart,” says Trevor. “He does everything I ask him to whether he can or not, and if he can’t he’ll try anyway.”

    Briarlands Blackberry

    Izzy Taylor, Briarlands Blackberry

    Izzy Taylor rode the one-eyed eventer around Blenheim, Burghley, Bramham, Barbury and more between 2008-2011.

    She took over the ride on Briarlands Blackberry two years after he lost his eye and says it made no difference to the way she competed

    “Sat on top, you wouldn’t know he only had one eye,” she says.

    “The only time I suspected it affected him was at Bramham when, unusually for him, he had a run-out at a coffin with a slanting rail on his blind side.”

    Material World

    Material World

    The Suzy Smith-trained mare (jockey in yellow) won five times despite losing an eye after an accident on the gallops before her career even began.

    “Daisy” was training when she had to avoid a jogger coming in the opposite direction, slipping and falling. She then developed a fungal infection in her eye and had to have it removed.

    Her final race was as a 10-year-old in the 2008 World Hurdle at Cheltenham before becoming a broodmare.



    Swedish showjumper Malin Baryard-Johnsson’s stallion had been battling with an issue in his right eye for eight years before he injured it further.

    He originally had about 30% vision in the eye, but in 2013 he damaged it while breeding and it couldn’t be saved.

    The Dutch Warmblood wasn’t set back though — competing at CSI5* level until his retirement from top class competition in January 2016.

    Malin said it was all down to trust.


    London 2012 Olympic Games Dressage 07.08.12

    The dressage stallion by Sandro Hit lost his left eye after scratching it in his stable in 2009.

    Treatment couldn’t save it so the eye was removed.

    However, it didn’t stop him competing at the top level. He took part in the 2012 London Olympics with Minna Telde of Sweden. The team finished fifth.

    In May 2014, the pair won the grand prix and special at Hamburg CDI4*.

    For all the latest news and reports, don’t miss the latest issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday


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