Meet Real Horse of the Year finalist: The Tory

  • The Tory, an eventer who lost her tongue during an accident at stud, successfully returned to competition as an affiliated show jumper

    The Tory, a 12-year-old intermediate event mare, had her tongue severed and suffered terrible hindleg injuries when a routine mating went drastically wrong.

    The mare, known as Maggie at home, was sent to stud by her owner Judith Westmore to try and produce a smaller eventer, as her daughter Sue was finding the 17hh Thoroughbred/Irish Draft mare “a bit strong” across country.

    “Maggie was really bold and a lovely person so we decided to try a breed a smaller version before she got too old,” explains Sue.

    “She went to a local stud but when she was tried with the stallion something went wrong and both her and the stallion pulled away from their handlers and got on the road.

    “She was wearing a chiffney and hobbles, but still managed to gallop two miles down the road. When she was found she had extensive damage to her hind legs and her tongue was missing. We assume she stood on the lead rope attached to the chiffney, which sliced through the base of her tongue.

    “When the vet told us she had lost her tongue we assumed she would have to be put down, but he suggested we gave her a chance. Just 48 hours later she was trying to eat and drink.

    “Her hind legs swelled to almost three times their normal size and she had to go to the vet college at Newmarket for treatment. Once again we thought we were going to lose her, but six months later she was given a clean bill of health.”

    A delighted Judith and Sue decided to give the mare time to recover and then try again for a foal the following year. This time all went well and Sue now enjoys riding Maggie’s daughter, the aptly named The Faerie’s Tory, a 16.2hh bright bay mare by Ben Faerie.

    “After “Squeeky” was weaned, we brought Maggie gently back into work and in time she returned to competition as an affiliated show jumper,” says Sue. “She competed up to Newcomers and has never looked back.”

    “Her lack of tongue has caused her to become rather thick through her cheeks and jowl, as a result of her changing her way of eating, but she always has the cleanest feed bowl in the yard. She can also eat hay and grass without difficulty. The only thing she can’t have is titbits as she can’t transfer them to her back teeth.”

    Now 23-years-old, Maggie still enjoys being ridden at weekends and going to the occasional show.

    “She still loves to be ridden and looks at me sort of reproachfully if she doesn’t get to go to a party every now and then.”

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