Top young rider who broke back in rotational fall returns to eventing success

  • Things were looking bright and promising for young event rider Phoebe Locke in the first half  of 2021. She had just moved out of her parents’ Somerset yard and had set up on her own in Gloucestershire, she had 11 horses in her string and she was going it alone to make a business out of eventing.

    Then disaster struck when she suffered a rotational fall on 18 June in the open intermediate at Nunney International Horse Trials with Union Fortunus.

    “I broke my back and pelvis and was out for six weeks – it was really bad timing, as I’d only just gone out on my own,” said 22-year-old Phoebe, who has represented Great Britain on pony and junior European eventing teams. “I worked hard to get back in the saddle and returned to competition on 4 September.”

    Last week (11 March) Phoebe and 19-year-old Pica D’Or added nothing to their 28.6 dressage score at Oasby Horse Trials to finish second in open intermediate section J.

    “Pica D’Or is a legend to go and perform that well at his age. He was trembling and bucking at the start of the cross-country in excitement – he absolutely loves it and isn’t ready to retire yet,” she said.

    Phoebe and Pica D’Or have enjoyed great success together since they teamed up in 2018, including scoring a CCI4*-S victory at Strzegom Horse Trials in Poland in September 2020.

    “He can still be a bit of a monkey at home, spinning round on the gallops, for example, but he’s been brilliant for my career,” said Phoebe, who finished in the top 10 on all three of her Oasby open intermediate rides; Bellagio Declyange and Clotaire De Ferivel joined Pica D’Or at the Lincolnshire event.

    Read the full report from Oasby (1) Horse Trials in the 17 March issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

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