A WOMAN and horse who overcame the odds after both suffering injuries, two months apart, have celebrated their "best ever year."

Horsewoman Katie Brickman of Welburn near Malton, North Yorkshire, along with her Irish Sports horse Flash, managed to reach the Badminton Grassroots Championships despite both suffering potentially career-ending injuries.

The Northern Echo:

The 29-year-old vet at Minster Equine Vets Clinic in Ripon, faced certain retirement after she severed an artery in her left hand in 2017.

She was told the damage sustained was so serious, she would never be able to properly grip reins again and was advised to retire.

Just two months later, while she was recovering from two operations, nine-year-old Flash suffered a serious injury ripping a ligament in his leg.

Flash was then left 'critically lame' by the severity of the injuries and had to remain confined to a stable for six months, with a view for early retirement too.

The Northern Echo:

But both have since "confounded expectation" with their unlikely recovery.

The vet said: "Flash and I have both gone from being told neither of us will never compete again to qualifying for Badminton Grassroots Championships – he has had an amazing season and it’s been our best ever year."

Qualified, Ms Brickman administered laser, shockwave and ultrasound treatment to Flash's injured stifle joint, as well as stem cell therapy.

By August last year, he was making good progress and by October, the pair competed at Askham Bryan College in York, where they won.

Ms Brickman's injuries had already started to heal beyond her surgeon's expectations.

She said: "It goes to show you should never give up, and all horses deserve a chance to recover from even the worst kind of injuries.

"I never gave up hope for either of us, but to reach Badminton is beyond my wildest dreams.

“Flash is a very special horse because he had a tough start as I don’t think he was treated well before I got him so he’s very nervous, but I was determined to do everything to help him recover even though everything was stacked against him.

"My surgeon says he can’t believe it, but I am stubborn, and was determined to ride again. I was also determined not to give up on Flash.

"We have such a good relationship as a horse and rider, and I’m absolutely thrilled at what we’ve achieved together against all the odds.”