Press release – Endurance GB:

Press release – Endurance GB Horse Returns To Competition Following Freak Road Traffic Accident:

Former World Championship Team GBR Endurance rider Rachael Claridge from Cornwall celebrated the return of her Senior Squad horse Blue Chip Prince Meliodas on Sunday 21st September. Meliodas successfully completed his first 32km Endurance GB competition at the Camelford event following a freak road traffic accident earlier this year. Meliodas who qualified to join the senior squad in preparation for the 2009 European Championships after completing his first 160km FEI event in 2007 was startled by a road maintenance van and empty trailer which bounced on the un-level surface of a quiet country lane only minutes from Rachael’s former yard near Cullompton. The 10 year old home-bred Anglo-Arabian gelding that is normally excellent in traffic unfortunately severed a tendon and fractured his near hind (left leg) tibia.

Thanks to the quick thinking of local residents who witnessed the accident and impeccable treatment from Stuart Altoft at Western Counties Equine Clinic, Mel has made a full recovery. “Mel had to be cross tied and box rested for 3 months before he was allowed out into the field following positive x-rays. I took his shoes off and he had another two months full rest before being brought slowly back into work. In the meantime I relocated back to Cornwall to focus on my goal of representing Team GBR in the European Championships next year and the World Equestrian Games in 2010”. Rachael is currently working closely with Endurance GB and the British Horse Society Bridleway and Access representative Adrian Bigg to ensure that more off road riding is available to Cornish horse riders via the ‘Kernow Horse Trail’ which forms part of the larger BHS ‘Ride UK’ project. “The roads across the UK are getting more and more dangerous; riders must not assume that drivers can see them and they must take responsibility for their own safety by wearing high-viz clothing and not be distracted by gadgets such as mobile phones or ipods when out riding. The problem is that quite lanes are now being turned into rat runs and ‘we’ as riders must utilise and maintain existing paths and campaign to re-open or create new ones to reduce the risk of accidents” Rachael said. “We are very lucky here in the UK to have such fantastic riding opportunities and we must fight to preserve it for future generations. Through the sport of endurance I have ridden all over the World but Cornwall in my opinion is one of my favourite locations, which is why I’m so passionate about helping my home county provide some of the best off-road riding in Europe to its residents and guests”. To find out more information about the Ride UK project or the sport of Endurance riding please visit http://www.ride-uk.org.uk or http://www.endurancegb.co.uk

Official Photographer: www.mbaphotos.co.uk Martin Broadfoot/Kim Goostry Telephone: 01208863705 martain51@tiscali.co.uk

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