Road to RIHS: miniature horse owner’s ordeal after beloved horse was stabbed 16 times

A miniature breeder whose horse survived a violent stabbing attack is set to return to the Royal International Horse Show (HOYS) to try and better the second place she achieved with her miracle horse.

Harriet Wood will be contending the final with her new miniature star, Jasper (Summerrose Little Hawk).

Harriet described how the heartbreaking attack left her horse Sol’s future in jeopardy and she believed that he would never show again, despite miraculously surviving the ordeal, when a man broke into his stable and stabbed him.

“I got Sol in 2016 from breeder Wendy Edgar,” says Harriet. “Wendy is the breeder of my sister’s HOYS champion, Apollo’s Secret Agent, and she offered me Agent’s half-brother, Sol.”

Harriet’s family have shown miniatures for nearly a decade, but the up and coming handler didn’t get into the scene until she got Sol.

“He was successful from the start,” continues Harriet. “In our first year together (2017) we qualified for the RIHS and came second in the final.

“I was incredibly excited about the possibility of taking him back for a second year with more experience. I was over the moon when he qualified and took champion at the first qualifier of 2018.

“After his qualifying championship I was on such a high. However, last April this all came crashing down when I found Sol covered in blood in his stable after a man had broken into his stable and stabbed him.”

Sol had been stabbed 16 times; 12 on his rear and four times in his jugular. Harriet spent the next few weeks sleeping in his stable and washing his wounds with saline to prevent infection. Against the odds, Sol survived but Harriet was convinced his showing days were over.

Charlotte continues: “After a huge amount of encouragement from my family and the horse community, I persevered with Sol who still went to RIHS last year and again placed second even with 16 scars. I was happy to end his RIHS journey there.”

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Charlotte explains: “Before Sol’s attack I bought American miniature Jasper from Yvonne McAlister in Ireland.

“After what I’d gone through with Sol my family encouraged me to take Jasper to the The British Miniature Horse Society (BMHS) Star Seeker final. This is a championship where non-BMHS miniatures can compete to win society hardshipping rights. He passed with 100% and won his rights.

“Jasper was now BMHS eligible for the 2019 season and at his first show he qualified for the RIHS, later going on to win his HOYS ticket at his first ever county show.

“Jasper has been by rock over the last year. RIHS has always been my special show where Sol made an amateurs dreams come true, taking me into the championship and standing in the top two. I cannot wait to take Jasper for his first ever Hickstead appearance and fly the flag for Sol.”

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