‘You’d never know’: horse who lost eye during lockdown wins first event of the year

  • A horse who had his eye removed during lockdown barely batted an eyelid, so to speak, at the loss, and has come out to win his first event of the season.

    Carrie Eve and her 12-year-old Dutch gelding Ferdy III won their BE100open section at Poplar Park on 5 March, on their dressage score of 26.5.

    Carrie told H&H chestnut “Ron” had been blind in his right eye for a couple of years before the eye was removed, owing to a rare condition.

    “In the space of about five weeks, his eye went from being fine to bright blue, it was quite scary,” she said. “But he adjusted so quickly, I wondered how much sight he’d had in that eye anyway. There wasn’t any change in him from the day it started.”

    That was at the end of 2017, and Ron thrived, other than the occasional ulcer in that eye.

    “He got a really big one in 2020 and as it was during lockdown, we thought it was a good time if he had to have the eye out,” Eve said, adding that the surgery was a relatively simple, standing procedure.

    “He had a bandage on for about four days, then it was just waiting for the stitches to dissolve; it’s very neat now.”

    Ron was soon back in action, but Carrie broke her foot in a fall from him, which ruled out the rest of the 2020 season — “that just wasn’t our year!” she said. They competed at BE100open and novice last year, then kicked off their 2022 campaign in the best possible way.

    “I was so shocked, I didn’t expect it at all but it was really nice to start the season like that, and he went the best he has in a long time,” Carrie said. “He’s the most laid-back, lazy horse you could ever come across; everyone loves him because he’s just so easy — but once you’re in the start box, he knows what he’s doing.”

    Carrie added that the only time she can see any hint of his blind side is if Ron is being ridden in poor light with a barrier such as a hedge on his left.

    “Then he just doesn’t adjust as quickly but otherwise you’d never know; there’s never been any difference in him since the day I bought him, five years ago, which is lovely,” she said.

    The combination will contest the BE105 at Great Witchingham on 26 March, then the aim is to step back up to novice, and Carrie hopes to ride at one-star level this season.

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