Racehorse returns from broken leg to win first race

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  • A National Hunt racehorse who suffered a serious fracture to a hind cannon bone has made a miraculous recovery winning her first race after a year off.

    Miss Tiggy, who is in the care of Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell (One For Arthur), had her winning run at Ayr on 4 November.

    “To win was just fantastic. The owner of the horse John Adams was totally supportive at every stage. The happiness and joy on his face in the winner’s enclosure made my day,” said Lucinda.

    The seven-year-old mare was given a life-saving operation at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies equine hospital in Edinburgh in November 2016.

    She had come in lame after the gallops, but nothing showed up on the first X-ray.

    A follow-up bone scan at the Royal (Dick) revealed she had a serious fracture at the top of her hind cannon bone just under her hock.

    Orthopaedic vet Eugenio Cillan Garcia from the Dick Vet Equine Practice said the only way to repair the break was to put three screws into the cannon bone.

    The surgery was conducted with the mare conscious and standing, but heavily sedated to give the best possible chance of recovery.

    A few days later Miss Tiggy was back in Lucinda Russell’s Kinross yard on three months box rest.

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    “When they come back after an injury like that you’re just grateful at every stage, first that they are alive, then they can be turned out. Just to start riding again was an achievement,” said Mrs Russell.

    Before the injury Miss Tiggy had run five times, being placed on three outings but never had a win.

    “We were hopeful we could save her, but never imagined she would go on and win races,” said Tess Fordham, the vet who oversaw her rehabilitation.

    Miss Tiggy’s next outing is at Hexham on 13 December.

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