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Success stories Daffern Seal - RoR Horse Personality of the Year Award Finalist

19th January 2022

The 18-year-old gelding Daffern Seal is one of three former racehorses in the running to win RoR Horse Personality of the Year. The award celebrates horses who have shown “exceptional character” in transitioning from racing to a new career and have had a positive impact on those around them. The winner will be announced at the RoR Awards on 22 January 2022.

Daffern Seal was nominated by his owner and rider Esmé Foster

My RoR, Dixie, is my world. Our partnership began three years ago, he needed to be shown a different way of life.. as a loved pet, not a competition machine.

Dixie and I are the same age and as I was too young for RoR we had to wait for 12 months. My goal was to event him, so with much patience, commitment, tears of joy and frustration our RoR journey began.

Just before covid struck, I sadly suffered an horrendous accident. I was kicked in the face (not by Dixie) and suffered multiple facial fractures. Some may have given up with horses but Dixie was my soulmate, my rock that gave me determination even when I was in so much physical and emotional pain. It was his turn to be patient, as the numerous metal plates in my face needed time to settle into place. He helped me to regain my confidence and with baby steps I was back in my saddle. He knew not to ask too much of me but gave me courage to do what I love the most.

In August 2021 Dixie and I did our first one-day-event, my first big competition since my accident. Although at times I was terrified I knew Dixie was more than capable and all I needed to do was put my trust in him. He looked after me every step of the way, not putting a hoof wrong! We were placed in the top six out of a huge class. What more can I say Dixie is my everything, my best friend.

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