A WOMAN who was told she would never ride again has qualified for Badminton, along with the horse who was also written off due to injury.

Katie Brickman, a veterinary nurse from Welburn, near Malton, suffered an horrific injury in March 2017 when

she fell over while carrying a glass bottle of antibiotics, severing an artery in her left hand.

Undergoing two operations at Hull Hospital, she was told the damage was so serious, she would never be able to properly grip reins again and was advised to retire from riding.

Despite this, Katie refused to give up and used the same determination to bring her nine-year-old black Irish Sports Horse, Flash, back from an injury most competition horses would never recover from.

Katie, who works at Minster Equine Veterinary Clinic in York, Ripon and Malton, said: “My surgeon says he cannot 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 am absolutely thrilled at what we have achieved together against all the odds.”

Two months later, she suffered another devastating blow when Flash suffered a serious injury when he ripped a ligament in his stifle joint at the top of his leg while in his field.

Flash was left critically lame by an injury that was so serious, he had to remain on box rest for six months, and the prognosis was so bleak, he would have to be retired.

Katie added: “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 has been our best year.

“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 do not think he was treated well before I got him, so he is very nervous.

“It was really grim news about his injury as he as extremely lame, but I was determined to do everything to help him recover even though everything was stacked against him.”

Katie and Flash have confounded expectations by making a miracle recovery and returned to competition this year in the world of eventing.

Not only have they enjoyed their best-ever year with four wins, they have qualified for Badminton Grassroots Championships at one of the biggest events in the world equine sporting calendar.

After finishing fifth in their first British Evening One-Day Event at Epworth, near Doncaster, they then won at Northallerton in April, finished second at Richmond in May, before winning a qualifier for the Three-Day Event National Championships in Oxford in June.

They won that event and then finished fourth in the British Eventing Regional Finals at Western Park in October, qualifying for Badminton Grassroots Championships.