A TOP young horserider from Diggle scooped double success at the Croft Top unaffiliated junior points series – despite not being able to compete in the last three shows.
Freya Shaw, 14, was last year diagnosed with scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine – and underwent a seven-hour operation in August to have titanium rods fitted to correct the condition.
She spent a week in Manchester Children’s Hospital followed by a lot of post-surgery convalescence and is unable to take to the saddle until the summer as she completes her 12-month recovery period.
This meant she could not compete in the final three shows of the Croft Top dressage series – but she had already secured enough points in the first seven events of the prelim and novice classes with her pony Muppet to claim first place in both.
And Freya, who has been riding since she was four years old and is a member of the Saddleworth and District Pony Club and attends Saddleworth School, is not letting her spell on the sidelines dampen her spirits.
Her dad Nigel revealed: “To take her mind off it, she has bought a young Welsh section A pony, Gwynie, to ‘bring on’ and is spending time nurturing and developing her, and then she plans to sell her in the spring.
“Freya is looking forward to making a full recovery and can’t wait to get back into the saddle again.”
There was more success for the family at the Croft Top series as Freya’s aunt Carol clinched first place in the adult prelim championships.
Carol, who introduced Freya to riding and still trains and mentors her at her livery yard and riding school, Saddleworth Stables, is looking after Muppet until Freya is ready to ride again.