Although I had continued to ride both at Polytechnic and while working, I had not owned a horse since my school days. A girlfriend, who had her own horse, persuaded me to buy a horse so that we could share the same hobby. My initial intention was to just hack and do a few local shows. My competitive nature took over and one thing lead to another and I ended up competing her at pre-Novice eventing. This is a picture of Frankie at her (and my) first affiliated event at Hartpury.
Unfortunately Frankie had an accident at a rather appropriately named coffin fence. She just didn’t seem to take off behind and ended up with a non-displaced fracture of the stifle. She had to be tied up in a stable for 3 or 4 months. She was then turned out for around 6 months. Finally I could start to ride her again and physically she made a full recovery.
However, when I took her to her first big cross country course she got very excited. We jumped onto a big bank and there was a jump at the top of the bank onto a steep slope down. She jumped very big and landed a long way down the slope and jarred herself. Not a serious problem but mentally this reminded her of the pain and she refused the next fence several times. I sold her to some friends who just wanted to do a few local shows and hacking with her. I kept in touch with them and she had a very happy life with them.