If Neville's recovery from fighting to his life after the True Prospect fire just two months ago to kicking ass at the Millbrook horse trials today doesn't bring a smile to your face then I don't know what will. Neville Bardos went up against one of the best advanced horse trials fields you will find in the United States in the Millbrook advanced-A division Thursday afternoon and seized the lead by 3.5 points. Let's show a bit of love to Boyd as well, who also happens to have ridden the second placed horse--Remington. As we all know, Neville was one of 5 surviving horses from the May 31st fire that burned a barn to the ground at True Prospect farm and claimed the lives of 6 horses.
I spoke with Boyd several times in the days after the True Prospect fire and the vets were uncertain whether or not Neville would live, much less compete again. He suffered from severe smoke inhalation and his blood counts were the worst of any of the surviving True Prospect horses. Now, after meticulous veterinary care, regular hyperbaric chamber therapy, a big dose of love, and surely a bit of luck, Neville has one prelim under his belt from two weekends ago at Fitch's corner and he's going into the advanced cross-country at Millbrook with the lead, and Burghley is just around the corner.
As if that isn't enough, there is another, and perhaps just as special comeback story in the same division as Jan Byyny is returning to advanced for the first time since her severe fall at Pine Top in the spring of 2010. Jan suffered numerous broken bones and a stroke, and her recovery has progressed at a remarkable pace. Jan is 9th in the advanced dressage with Inmidair.
Millbrook advanced division A dressage results:
1. Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos 27.8[Full Millbrook Thursday Scores]
2. Boyd Martin and Remington 31.3
3. Leslie Law and Rehy Lux 31.6
4. Phillip Dutton and Ben 33.4
5T. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen 33.8
5T. Colleen Rutledge and Dillon 33.8
7. Doug Payne and Running Order 34.1
8. Michael Pollard and Icarus 34.1
As another note from Millbrook, Phillip is back competing just two days after losing his incredible partner Woodburn. It must be hard for Phillip, but Phillip belongs in the saddle and he had a great day, finishing in 4th with Ben.
Oh, wait, there's another big comeback story in the works at Millbrook. Peter Atkins and HJ Hampton are competing in the open intermediate B division in their first horse trials since the WEGs. Dressage continues Friday at Millbrook.
Boom goes the dynamite.