WHEN injury put paid to racing for Son du Silence the future looked bleak.

However, thanks to the help and patience of a North Yorkshire woman the horse has now made a successful career change.

Melissa Chapman, 26, runs Team Chapman Equestrian near Catterick Village, North Yorkshire, and trains horses in dressage as well as helping rehome animals from various backgrounds.

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Son du Silence had 12 outings on the flat, winning two and coming second twice and third twice.

After resting him and giving him just two weeks of dressage training, Ms Chapman entered him in a British Dressage Competition in Richmond where he surprised everyone by taking fourth place.

She said: “My partner is in the racing industry and we heard about Son du Silence, known as Sonny, through a friend.

“I do a bit of rehoming work to try and give horses a new chance in life. Sonny was coming back from a slight injury, but if he began racing again he would certainly get even worse and the outlook wouldn’t be good for him.

“It was his last chance so I took him in and started doing some dressage training with him, and, as he is still a young horse at five years old, he took to it amazingly well.”

Ms Chapman gave Sonny the time off before slowing introducing him to dressage.

But after only two weeks of working in Ms Chapman’s outdoor school he was entered into the dressage competition with Aimee Gascoigne at the reins. Entered in the preliminary class, he scored 124.

Ms Chapman said: “He is a lovely horse with a great character. He was an absolute star at dressage and when we come to rehome him he will make someone a wonderful horse.”