Former trainer Henrietta Knight in hospital after breaking leg and ankle

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  • Henrietta Knight is recovering from surgery to a badly-broken ankle, just weeks after the death of her husband, Terry Biddlecombe.

    The 3-times Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer slipped on concrete while rounding up her geese on Saturday evening (25 January), breaking her right ankle and 2 bones in her leg.

    Hen is reported to be in good spirits after the operation

    Hen is reported to be in good spirits after the operation

    Hen, 67, had an operation in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford later that night to pin and plate the ankle.

    “It is just a terrible shock,” she said. “I could see there was something wrong because the foot was facing the other way.

    “I was crawling around and shouting for people. The ambulance was very quick in coming and they put me in a cast and took me off,” she added

    An x-ray of the ankle before the operation

    An x-ray of the ankle before the operation

    It has been a traumatic month for Hen. Her husband — former champion jump jockey Terry Biddlecombe died on 5 January.

    Hen described him as “not only my husband but also the best friend that I will ever have”.

    Terry’s life will be celebrated at the Cheltenham Festival in March and Hen is determined to be there — though it sounds as if she will need to use a wheelchair.

    She said: “I think they will definitely keep me in [hospital] for another week because they don’t want to risk any infection and I won’t be able to put any weight on the leg for 3 months.”

    Hen is running operations at her West Lockinge Farm, near Wantage, from her hospital bed. She handed in her trainer’s licence in May 2012 after Terry suffered a stroke, but has horses in pre-training and schooling livery and continues to breed Connemaras.

    Mick Channon — who took on Hen’s jumpers on her retirement from racing — tweeted this morning (29 January):

    “Saw Hen last night. She’s in great form considering and sends her thanks to all.”

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