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Monthly diary — October

Lucinda Green

“With horses, you never know what is just around the corner. I was feeling very positive about Bill and Lissa had recovered from her apparent freak fall with Crackberry (Willy) at Aston, so we were both ready to tackle Highclere.

The afternoon before, as I prepared Bill, a rug slipped off his back – he reacted as if a tiger was attacking and shot through the breast bar, accelerating down the drive, onto the road. Skidding desperately and realising he wasn’t going to make the turn, he flung himself over the park railings opposite and landed on an iron bench. By some miracle, there was no huge damage - he was just shaken and shinned.

So, next day, we set off to Highclere with just Willy. On the cross-country Willy gradually became stronger, until he bolted across the park. After half a mile they reached the barbed wire boundary fence. Willy went through it, tripped badly, but recovered and with Lissa still on board, continued in his blind gallop. A few hundred yards later, he slammed straight into a 40ft high rhododendron bush. Somehow they both survived without major injury – it could have been so much worse.

We took Willy straight to a neurologist and after many checks an xray showed a chip of a neck vertebrae lodged in his main neck ligament. It is very unusual and apparently is neither new nor old. We can only assume it’s causing him serious pain. He is now undergoing shockwave treatment. Lissa is gutted, especially as he is still the sweet, sweet horse he has always been to handle.

Assessing pain is very difficult and how we proceed with Willy seems to be the choice
between a rock and a hard place.”
Lucinda Green Signature