Horse & Hound Grassroots Eventing Championship competitor, Rhiannon Winwood, hasn’t let a broken arm prevent her from attending the event at Keysoe, Bedfordshire over the Bank Holiday weekend.
“I had a fall at a hunter trial six weeks ago, when my horse spooked at a dog walker in between fences,” explains Rhiannon, who is a full-time rider based in Cambridgeshire. “We both went down — my horse needed treatment from a physio as he tweaked himself, and I broke my radius which required surgery.”
Rhiannon’s horse is called Black Justice (or Murphy at home), and he’s a 17.2hh, six-year-old thoroughbred.
“We have ended up with about 10 days to prepare,” says Rhiannon who sought advice from British Eventing on whether she would be allowed to compete or not. “Thankfully Murphy didn’t lose much fitness and my plaster cast was changed to a fibre glass one so that I could carry on riding a bit more easily.”
The duo, competing in the 90cm class at the championships, posted a dressage score of 39.75 and followed it up with a good clear cross-country round, incurring just 1.2 time-faults.
“Our dressage wasn’t great, but Murphy did everything I asked of him,” says 23-year-old Rhiannon. “He’s quite a fizzy horse and can be quite strong and sensitive — if you change the colour of his bucket in the stable, he will notice — but as long as you adopt a calm but confident approach to everything, he is fine.”
Surgeons had to re-break Rhiannon’s arm to straighten it, but insists she has been sensible in coming to this competition.
“It doesn’t hurt and I wouldn’t be competing if it did,” she says.