A showjumping mare rescued from a stable fire is hoped to return to competition this summer.
Essex-based Grace Victory and her mother Kathy rushed to the yard of their horse, Sassy, when they heard there was a fire at the stables.
Kallum Fletcher, the son of the yard owner, had saved the eight-year-old Cassio mare from the blaze. She suffered burns but the other horses at the yard escaped serious injury.
Firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, but despite their efforts the stables were destroyed.
“Kallum was the real hero,” 17-year-old Grace told H&H. “If it hadn’t been for him the horses wouldn’t be here.
“Sassy came out with her rug on fire, so that had to be stripped off.”
Sassy’s injuries were found to be more severe than initially thought, with second degree burns to her back and first degree burns on her neck.
As a result her vet has been in regular attendance since the fire in January.
Sassy was put on a course of antibiotics and steroid cream was applied to her burns. Initially she couldn’t wear a rug due to the severity of her wounds despite it being the depths of winter. As the burns healed she was able to begin wearing lightweight rugs, starting with a summer sheet. Grace bandaged her legs with stable wraps to help keep her warm.
“She’s been the best patient, but when we started putting rugs back on her we think she was having flashbacks of the fire,” said Grace.
“She would shoot to the back of the stable, rear and shake. But she hasn’t done that for about a month.
“She’s looking ok now, her neck has completely healed. She has patches of pink skin on her back still but the skin has hardened.
“We’ve started putting a lunge roller on her with a stable pad.
“Next month I hope to be able to ride her again. I can’t wait.”
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Sassy was a surprise present for Grace from her mother last May. She is Grace’s first horse after moving off ponies.
The pair have competed in British Showjumping competitions up to discovery, achieving double clears and top 10 placings.
Grace’s Christmas and birthday presents were among the items destroyed in the blaze, including a pair of Flex-On stirrups, jumping boots and a crystal browband.
“My riding club, Rayleigh and District Riding Club, and my friend’s mum set up a GoFundMe page and they raised £500 for me to replace these items,” said Grace. “I’m so lucky.”
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This week’s edition (10 May) features our full report from Badminton, including in-depth analysis, expert comment, pictures and more. Plus, read our feature on the options for retiring your horse and in this week’s vet clinic we look into the challenges of equine surgery