After racing unsuccessfully as a two- and three-year-old, thoroughbred mare Lucy Minaj was put up for sale by her trainer and quickly snapped up by Kings Lynn-based rider Angela Bishop.
“Her trainer said they never found a distance that suited her, which really means she wasn’t any good,” laughed music teacher Angela. “I don’t think she enjoyed it — she switches off very easily and although she’s a thoroughbred, I think there’s some mule in there too as she can be very opinionated.”
Angela took her time retraining the mare and not long after she had started riding her, disaster struck.
“We think she fell in her stable and chipped her hipbone which is floating somewhere in her body lodged in a muscle somewhere,” explained Angela. “My vet couldn’t find what was wrong so Lucy went to Rossdales and had lots of scans and eventually they identified that she’d broken her hip.”
The mare did a stint on box rest before the time came for her to be walked out in-hand.
“After she spent the entire time on her back legs the first time I attempted hand-walking, I made a small pen for her on the yard and she went in that while I mucked out until she was strong enough for me to get on her.
“I brought her back into work gently and she has been fine ever since. If you look at her from behind you can see the rump has dropped on that side, but she’s level in her movement. She still needs to develop strength to help her balance, but she’s getting there slowly.”
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The pair now enjoy dressage, hacking and a little jumping, and competed at the Horse&Hound Festival of Dressage in the novice and elementary championship classes.
“I’ve had such fun with her — we’ve qualified for the Hickstead Masters three times now and she’s qualified for the Trailblazers championships at elementary too,” added Angela. “She also loves hacking out and we do a little bit of jumping.
“The Horse&Hound Festival of Dressage is such a great idea. The atmosphere is great and I love that anyone can come and have a go. It’s been lovely staying over and enjoying the evening entertainment. It’s also been handy having Spillers here with their weighbridge because Lucy loses weight over the winter but thankfully has put two kilos back on.”
Don’t miss the latest news and updates on the H&H Festival of Dressage on the Horse & Hound website and social media channels, plus a full report in the 3 August issue of the magazine.