Injury forces rider’s early withdrawal at Burghley Horse Trials

Kerry Varley and her horse Bluestone Luke
Kerry Varley and her horse Bluestone Luke
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One rider had a mixed weekend at this year’s Burghley Horse Trials after her horse fractured a joint in its leg.

Kerry Varley, from Ryhall, was eager to avoid any injury to her 12-year-old gelding Bluestone Luke ahead of their second year entering the event.

They arrived in one piece on Wednesday last week and gave a decent showing in the dressage, which is not the horse’s best event.

And Kerry was delighted with their cross country run on Saturday, which the horse completed with no trouble.

But on Saturday evening Bluestone Luke developed a limp and it was discovered he had fractured his stifle - a joint in a horse’s hind leg equivalent to a human knee.

Kerry said: “It happened at fence 13. We only discovered it after watching the replay.

“He didn’t go lame until 8pm on the Saturday night. It was bizarre.”

Vets operated on Bluestone Luke on Monday and thankfully the horse is recovering well. Kerry expects him to be fully fit, ready for another go at Burghley in 2014.

She said: “He made me proud of him for carrying on with a broken leg.”

Kerry added: “The cross country course caused a lot of trouble. A lot of professional riders had to stop and retire.”

Despite the unfortunate injury Kerry still managed to enjoy her weekend, much of which was spent with family.

And living in Ryhall meant she was able to enjoy the comfort of her own bed - something which even the top riders did not have.

On Wednesday she was back at Newstead Farm Stables, on the outskirts of Stamford, preparing for the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials which began yesterday.