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Success stories "The Flying Sofa"

9th February 2024
Chloe and Sofa 'flying' over jumps with ease

Written by Lucy Giles

In the tale of this extraordinary horse, where do I even begin?

Picture a striking horse, dark bay with four elegant white socks and a bold blaze gracing his face. He entered my daughter's life as a three-year-old, arriving at Gary Moore's yard without a name. From the outset, Chloe, my daughter, formed an inseparable bond with him.

The owner bestowed upon him the moniker "The Flying Sofa" - a whimsical name that stuck in the minds of all who encountered him. And so, Sofa embarked on his racing journey on 22 December 2017, clinching a respectable third place in his debut.

With each race, Sofa's prowess only grew. From bumpers to hurdling, and then to chasing, he tackled every challenge with unwavering determination. His presence even graced the revered grounds of the Cheltenham Festival, leaving his mark on the formidable course.

Then came the morning when Chloe sensed a shift in Sofa's demeanour during their routine canter. Trusting her instincts, she halted their exercise, only to discover that something was amiss. Despite showing no signs of major lameness initially, Sofa's condition deteriorated rapidly, revealing a severe leg injury.

The distressing news sent shockwaves through Chloe, who kept vigil over Sofa's recovery, her heart heavy with worry. Thanks to the swift action of his dedicated caretakers, Sofa underwent surgery to mend his shattered limb, emerging from the ordeal with two steadfast screws holding his leg together.

But the trials were far from over; a bout of colic threatened Sofa's newfound lease of life. Through it all, his indomitable spirit, earnt him a second chance at the track.

With unwavering support from his team, Sofa resumed his racing career, defying the odds with each stride. Yet, as time passed, it became evident that his true calling lay beyond the racetrack.

And so, on the 8 May 2022, Sofa bid farewell to the racing world, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

I still recall the morning of the 9 May 2022, when a phone call changed our lives once more. Could Sofa come to live with us in his retirement? Despite the lingering grief from the recent loss of my former racehorse, I couldn't deny Sofa the sanctuary he deserved.

As he trotted into our lives, his presence filled the void, his striking features a testament to resilience and grace. Adjusting to a quieter existence posed its challenges, but through patience and understanding, our bond deepened.

Together, we navigated new terrain, each new challenge strengthening our connection. From solo outings to bustling clinics, Sofa's transformation into a serene companion was nothing short of remarkable.

Today, as we embark on new adventures, I am filled with gratitude for the courage and spirit that Sofa embodies. He has not only restored my confidence but enriched our lives in ways I never imagined possible.

In his journey from the depths of injury to the heights of triumph, Sofa has found his forever home in our hearts. And for that, we are eternally grateful to his owners and Gary Moore, and all who made this miraculous journey possible.

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