EQUESTRIANISM: Herbie rides again!

Debbie Redford and her horse Herbie.
Debbie Redford and her horse Herbie.
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Grantham dressage rider Debbie Redford has achieved a dream of getting her horse Herbie back into competition success after he lost an eye in 2011.

Herbie, who is 16 years old today, had his right eye removed at Oakham Veterinary Hospital after an ulcer ruptured.

She has owned Herbie for seven years and originally bought him off her farrier. Herbie is a former racehorse and Debbie said that when she first acquired him, he could not even go round in a circle.

Her aim was to show what could be achieved with an ex-racehorse and despite the set-back of Herbie losing an eye, the pair won the Elementary class of the Winter Dressage League at Elms Farm Equestrian Centre at Caythorpe last Sunday.

Debbie said: “I have had Herbie in my life for seven years and cannot imagine my life without him. I am so very proud of him and how he has dealt with everything.”

Forty-six-year-old Debbie began riding as a little girl and owned her first horse when she was 29. She then started competing in one-day eventing.

Her last horse died from colic which is when she bought Herbie and began the process of retraining him.

She said: “I have been doing dressage ever since with Herbie as I lost my bottle for the big jumps – and I’m old and don’t repair as well when you fall off.

“You need a huge sense of humour owning Herbie, as he’s very spooky.”

Debbie and Herbie will be back in competition at Elms Farm at the end of the month.