Drink driver crash victim qualifies for RIHS

  • A rider traumatised after a drunk driver killed her horse two years ago has qualified for the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) twice this year.

    Lily Gibbs, 23, qualified for the 2014 RIHS in May at the South Suffolk Show with her four-year-old 15hh coloured pony, Bella Bellagio.

    And last month (25 June) she qualified “Twinkle” for the 2015 RIHS after winning the coloured non-native class at the Royal Norfolk Show.

    Lily, who grew up in Norfolk, said it was “a dream come true to win on home turf”.

    She moved to Berkshire five years ago for work and keeps Twinkle at producer Ian Smeeth’s showing yard in Ascot.

    In December 2012, Ian was with Lily and her mother, Hayley, riding home from Windsor Great Park, when the driver hit them.

    Both the Gibbs’ family horses were killed, and Hayley is still having operations on her face. She has not ridden since. Lily fractured her back.

    The driver, Christian Myers, was given a 16-month driving ban, reduced to one year, and a £1,100 finea sentence branded at the time as “pathetic” by Hayley.

    “I was tearful when Lily was pulled in first at the Royal Norfolk, and stayed there,” said Hayley. “She can move forward now.”

    Lily added: “It has been a terrible time for us, but hopefully we can now move on. Our next outing is the RIHS.”

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