A horse who hit the headlines after vanishing in a forest for 33 hours proved he is none the worse for his adventure by completing an international endurance ride weeks later.
Basil Del Mulo was miraculously unscathed after parting company with his owner/rider Karen Greig at the King’s Forest Spring Ride on 6 April, leading to an exhaustive search by RAF officers, police and numerous helpers.
The 12-year-old grey gelding has now “redeemed himself” by completing Royal Windsor CEI* (80km) on 10 May, finishing in a respectable 19th place.
Karen underwent a bilateral mastectomy several days after the King’s Forest ride, so Basil’s breeder, Richard Allen, took over the reins for Windsor.
Karen told H&H it was “a dream come true” to see her horse go so well at Windsor.
“It really was irrelevant that I wasn’t riding him, I thought it would be upsetting as I have been training him for last two years, but it wasn’t at all,” she said.
“I trust Richard 100% with Basil, he was there at his birth and that’s why it was so lovely. He hasn’t ridden him for a couple of years and when he got on him he said ‘he is just like his mother’.”
Karen, her husband Mike and Richard’s wife Nicky were among the crew and support team.
Mike told H&H Basil’s escapade at King’s Forest has made him “quite famous”.
“We really felt supported by the endurance community,” he said, adding the vet who passed Basil at the final inspection at Windsor was among those to bring up his story.
“His fame has spread far!”
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Karen said it was remarkable that the horse escaped uninjured from King’s Forest — he had found a reservoir and plenty of grass, so suffered no ill-effects from his adventure.
“[When we found him] he had all his tack on and was absolutely fine,” she said. “It was the strangest thing, as if he has been stood in his stable, the only damage was that he had rubbed some of the rubber off his reins.
“When he was missing, so many people said to me ‘this is Basil, he will be ok’. He is a really tough little horse.”
Karen added she fell off on the west side of the forest and instead of heading into open fields, Basil took himself along the forest trails.
“That is why we couldn’t follow his hoof prints as there weren’t any,” explained Karen. “What’s even stranger is that as a five-year-old he did a ride here and [when he was lost] he went to the old track they used then.”
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