A HORSE who stared death in the face more than once has galloped his way to a place in the Horse of the Year Show.
Louis the Dutch Warmblood had been floored by serious bouts of colitis and sinustis and is only five years old.
But he has fought his way back to health and last weekend showed his hooves to his rivals in the Search For a Star qualifying rounds for the Horse of the Year Show.
His proud owner, Catheine Dickinson, said: “I cried when I found out that Louis had won because no horse deserves it more than him after all he has been through.
“He has a lovely temperament, so friendly and affectionate and he shone at the competition – just like he was born to it.
“I am so proud of him.’’
Louis, whose stable name is C Upbeat, faced stiff competition from 24 other horses in the arena at the contest, held at the Osbaldeston Riding Centre.
He was competing in the show hunter category and judges were looking for a horse with a good temperament and character who held himself well.
Louis swept the board and will now be pitted against competitors from all over the UK at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham in October.
Catherine (24), a gym instructor at Carter Leisure, Clitheroe, said: “To win the top accolade at this show would be the best thing ever.’’
She bought Louis when he as just one and suffering from colitis.
Catherine, who has been riding since she was seven, said: “There was just something about him that we couldn’t resist and we felt sorry for him and that instinct turned out to be right.’’
Louis is stabled at Smithies Bridge Farm, Sawley, where Catherine lives with her boyfriend, Richard Parker.