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Watch 88-year-old take back the reins after 50-year break

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An 88-year-old horse lover has taken back the reins after a 50-year break from driving.

Mary Cope grew up on a farm in Yorkshire and drove and rode a former pit pony called Vim in her childhood.

Ms Cope and Vim delivered milk from Kiverton to neighbouring village Harthill.

She continued to drive as an adult and bought a donkey when her daughter Liz was born.

Ms Cope drove the donkey until Liz was taught to ride it at two years old.

Since then, she stayed out of the driving seat, but 50 years later, out of the blue, she decided to give it a go once more.

“My partner’s pony Cookie just happened to be harnessed up when my mum called in and she didn’t need asking twice if she wanted a drive,” Lincolnshire-based Liz told H&H.

“She went off round the yard as if she’d always done it and was so happy.

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“Cookie has given lots of visitors to our yard a taste of driving, is the ultimate companion for any unsettled youngsters and has also won local showing in hand.”

Liz, who has recently started eventing, said her mother has always been “incredibly supportive” of her riding, taking her to shows on ponies as a child and supporting her at competitions later in life.

“I just hope that her attitude and enthusiasm are genetic, and I’m half as active and independent at 88,” added Liz.

Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound magazine featuring cover star Upsilon, the impressive French eventing stallion, plus we reflect on the thrills and spills from past European Championships. Also, read about detecting lameness and our reports from Aachen — including all the dressage, showjumping and eventing action —and much more.

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