Disabled show jumper, Melissa Mould, wins the viewers’ votes for a professional makeover on her horsebox on tonight’s BBC’s DIY SOS
It was one of the more unusual requests for a makeover on the BBC’s popular DIY programme, but the appeal for help to complete the work needed on Melissa Mould’s horsebox received more than 60,000 votes.
A spokesman for the programme revealed that the usual response is around half of this figure.
Melissa, 17, from East Wittering in West Sussex, suffers from cystic fibrosis and competes at Discovery and Newcomers level.
This talented young rider, who has difficulty walking, has recently got the ride on a Dutch Warmblood, Nobel Krasnee.
However, one important ingredient has been holding her back from the chance of chasing her dream to be a professional competitor – the condition of her horsebox.
Melissa’s father, Tony, a plumber, had started work on the family’s two-horse Ford Cargo and built a large living area. However, he was forced to admit defeat when the job became too much.
It was then that Melissa’s mother, Jacqui, decided she would take a chance and write into the programme, although initially she didn’t hold out much hope of success.
“I thought the winner would probably be someone with a house, as viewers would consider a horsebox a luxury.
“The ramp of the lorry was dangerous and the box didn’t look that good at shows. We planned to build a large, comfortable living for Melissa because she gets tired travelling and needs to rest.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the result of the programme. The ramp has now been fixed, there’s a locker dooron the side, the living’s been done up and been painted outside. Our little lorry looks very professional now.”
The BBC team worked with two specialist companies, Horsebox Bits and Horsebox Hotel, to complete the job which took around 11 hours.
The show will be broadcast at 8pm tonight (Thursday, 7 February).