‘Life is to be lived to the full’: Nicola Wilson shares update on rehab and horses

  • European champion Nicola Wilson is continuing to make progress in her rehabilitation three months on from her cross-country fall at Badminton Horse Trials.

    Nicola, 45, sustained serious injuries in the fall with JL Dublin on 7 May and is in the spinal rehabilitation unit at James Cook University Hospital, with the hope of returning home “perhaps at the end of August”.

    In a video shared on her social media on Friday (29 July), Nicola gave news of her recovery and a “sad but positive” update on her yard.

    “I’m doing really well, my rehab is going nicely and I’ve got a new chair,” she said.

    “I allowed myself half an hour to get to physio two days ago and it took me 25 minutes to go 20m on the flat, in the lift and then 30m to physio. I smashed it and did it in 25 minutes. I was absolutely exhausted by the time I got there – I had a good session anyway.

    “That little bit of inner competition kicked in the following day and yesterday I did it in 15 minutes, so I was thrilled to bits.”

    She added that it is “a little bit sad, but also positive” that things have moved on with the horses in her yard.

    “Obviously I’m not going to be in a position to be competing any more and a lot of the older horses have gone to lovely riders and the younger horses are still doing their five-year-old classes with Robin [Grey], who is doing brilliantly with them,” she said.

    “I’m just proud to have been part of the older horses’ journeys so far and look forward to supporting them from afar.

    “Yes it will be sad going home to an empty yard, but I’m here and life is to be lived to the full when I come out, so I am looking forward to that.”

    Nicola said her goal-setting meeting last week went well and her therapists and doctors are “pleased with how things are going.”

    “I’m to stay at James Cook for another month with a view to possibly making a date to be discharged perhaps at the end of August,” she said.

    “There’s lots of work to be done in the meantime and hopefully lots to look forward to as well.”

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