From Hyde Park bomb survivors to a fairytale Grand National winner, Kate Johnson tracks down horses who have made miraculous recoveries
“He’s a mischief-maker; his stable’s like a padded cell,” laughs eventer Emma Hyslop-Webb of her adored 17-year-old Waldo III (Wally, pictured above). “And he loves drama! If we’re hacking, and people are walking through the village, he thinks that’s his audience and we have to canter sideways.”
After 13 years together, Emma feels a very special bond and was worried when the vet agreed that Wally “wasn’t quite right” after two weeks’ rest following the Barroca International Horse Trials in Portugal last year. They were entered for their first Badminton just over two months later.
“No one knew what it was or if he would recover,” she remembers, as diagnoses such as meningitis and the fatal West Nile virus were ruled out with extensive tests including a spinal tap.
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