Injury risks rider's chances of trophy

PUBLISHED: 14:53 26 April 2007 | UPDATED: 21:39 29 May 2010

Janice Neep with her horses Rupert and Ben
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Janice Neep with her horses Rupert and Ben Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A TOP-class event rider from Bardfield Saling is hoping to be back in the saddle before too long, after the plastercast on her ankle is removed this week. Janice Neep was competing in the British Eventing Horse Trials at Poplar Park in Woodbridge in Suffo

A TOP-class event rider from Bardfield Saling is hoping to be back in the saddle before too long, after the plastercast on her ankle is removed this week.

Janice Neep was competing in the British Eventing Horse Trials at Poplar Park in Woodbridge in Suffolk when she broke her ankle in three places.

Explaining how the injury happened, Mrs Neep said: "Me and my horse, Bob, were just coming through the finish after completing a clear round when he was spooked and threw me.

"We were going at 23 miles an hour. I remember thinking that I have landed safely on my feet before when I've been thrown, but not at that speed. I guess it wasn't the best idea I've ever had."

The injury left the 29-year-old's tibia and fibula so badly broken that doctors had to put on a temporary cast and wait for the swelling to go down before they could manipulate the bones back into position and pin them with metal plates.

Mrs Neep, who is one of the few people to have bred and reared some of the horses she competes on, is keen to get back into training and has already booked herself in for a lot of physiotherapy.

"I have been told by doctors that if I push it too hard I will do more damage and that will put me out until at least next season.

"However, I'd dearly love to be back riding before July 9 as its the last event before the British Championships, which are held from August 3 to 5.

"I'd desperately love to get Rupert through the championships. That would be fantastic."

Rupert is the horse that Mrs Neep has bred and reared herself. If they win Mrs Neep would receive a trophy and £2500 in prize money.

"Rupert is exceedingly naughty but very talented. Last year he was placed every time out.

"He got me onto the long list for the European Two-star Event Team and also qualified me in the British intermediate Championships at Gatcombe, which is Princess Anne's house.

"He has got me to the highest ranking in the tables that I have ever been."

Mrs Neep explained the importance of the bond between a horse and its rider saying that the whole partnership comes down to trust.

"Often a horse can't see the other side of a fence or know how deep the water is you are asking it to go over or through.

"It is purely that bond of trust that gives it the confidence to go on."

Doctors have told Mrs Neep that she can't ride for between six to eight weeks after the cast comes off and that it will be a long time before she will be able to walk properly.

However, it is clear where her mind is focus, saying: "I've been told the plates will not be removed from my ankle, so I'll have to get my boots adjusted to allow for the extra width they will create.

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