Return of the Draguns: How one lucky horse beat a deadly foot abcess to win at Christchurch show

WHEN Dawn Hughes’ beloved horse Return of the Draguns was struck by a deadly foot abcess she did not think the animal would survive - let alone go on to triumph at village’s annual show.

But the pedigree horse confounded just about everyone when he won first reserve in the ridden championship at Christchurch Horse Show.

The horse, named after his predecessor Last of the Draguns, was set for a bright career on the show circuit after a winning a reserve championship at last year’s event.

But less than a month later, disaster struck.

Mrs Hughes, of Russell Avenue, March, said: “I called the vet out because I thought his tendon had gone. Within a week, his foot had exploded as it started to ooze something nasty.

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“What started as a little wound grew and grew and ended up being infected. His hoof was coming away from his leg.”

The family consulted vets across the country about the condition but said they were all baffled by the cause of the problem.

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One thing they were sure about was that Return of the Draguns’ chances were slim - and even if he did survive, his performing days were over as his foot would have had to be amputated.

However, when Mrs Hughes called in Isle Veterinary Group head David Scott on December 21 last year to assess the animal’s progress, he told her that Return of the Draguns was finally turning the corner after a course of antibiotics.

Blacksmith David Sanderson then worked to repair Return of the Draguns’ foot ready for this year’s show.

Mrs Hughes said: “We are not out the woods yet but it was a perfect day. There was a point when I did not think that day would come.”

She is also appealing for sponsors for Return of the Draguns to help continue his recovery.

Anyone who can help should contact Mrs Hughes on 01354 651899.

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