Horse & Hound columnist lends team horse to H&H blogger with paralympic ambitions

  • Having returned to the saddle just six months ago, Horse & Hound blogger Suzanna Hext has received some exciting news from her trainer Pammy Hutton.

    The former two-star eventer, who sustained life-changing injuries in an accident with a young horse in 2012, will now be competing Pammy’s horse, Abira, in para dressage competitions.

    The warmblood gelding was a junior and young rider European team horse for Charlie Hutton and also partnered his sister, Pippa, on young riders teams.

    Suzanna has already secured para dressage wins at Hartpury College (8 March), with Abira and Amo and has high hopes for the future.

    “The goal is to get into the GB para team,” said Suzanna. “I’m fairly new to the circuit, but it seems to be going well, taking off pretty quickly.

    I want to go to a Paralympics — I don’t know which one, Rio is quite soon. I would definitely like to go to one as soon as I can, that’s the ultimate aim. However, we will have to wait and see which horse this is on as it’s early days with Abira.

    “It’s incredible to be back competing. I few months ago I could have only dreamt about what has happened.”

    Horse & Hound columnist Pammy Hutton explained why she decided Suzanna should campaign Abira: “I love her. She asked me to give her her life back and I have known her since she was 12.

    “I’m a sentimental old fool,” she laughed.

    Pammy added that she will still compete Abira herself, but she is pleased with the pair’s’ progress.

    “They have done really well and have cemented very quickly.”

    Suzanna has spent months in hospital and endured eight operations since the accident, where a horse she was backing reared up and landed on her.

    Suzanna’s left foot and ankle remain paralysed and she rides without stirrups, otherwise her leg goes into spasm.

    “He [Abira] was really chilled and laid back at our first competition,” Suzanna continued. “I have to get on from the lorry, but he wasn’t phased by it all.

    “You would think an international horse might be a bit like ‘really?’ but he was fine, he didn’t worry about it.

    “I’m not used to the dressage circuit, but I love being out competing. I’m very lucky at Talland, they have been amazing and given me massive support. I feel part of the team.

    “I have been taught by Pammy since I was 12 so she knows me really well. She is more than just my trainer, she is a close friend as well. She’s certainly changed my life around.”

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