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Harriet Bethell saddles first winner since suffering life-threatening injuries | Horse Racing News

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Harriet Bethell: won with Lopes Dancer at Wolverhampton on Friday

By David Carr 3:00PM, JAN 30 2022

Harriet Bethell’s remarkable journey came full circle when she landed her first winner back with Lopes Dancer, the horse who left her with life-threatening injuries nearly two and a half years ago.

The trainer suffered a freak fall from the ten-year-old on the gallops in August 2019 and spent six weeks in a coma and nine months in various hospitals.

Her father William took over the license at their yard near Hull in East Yorkshire, but after months of physiotherapy and occupational therapy, plus speech and language therapy, she is now back in charge.

Bethell went close with her first runner back when Steel Helmet finished second in a handicap at Wolverhampton in November and she was delighted to see Lopes Dancer go one place better in a claimer at the same course on Friday night.

Watch Lopes Dancer win for Harriet Bethell

“It’s quite weird that he should be my first winner back but it was great to see,” the trainer reflected. “It was a monkey off my back, the horses had all been running really well but they’d not been hitting the back of the net. He’s been a great servant and he just loves winning.”

John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)

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Harriet Bethell, who received a trophy at the Northern Racing Awards at Newcastle last year, had more reason to smile this weekend

Harriet Bethell, who received a trophy at the Northern Racing Awards at Newcastle last year, had more reason to smile this weekend

John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)

Success was quite a tonic for Bethell, who was not at Wolverhampton herself due to a recent setback in her recovery.

“I had a fall three weeks ago,” she explained. “I’m fine but I’ve taken a step back with my mobility and things like that and I can’t walk much by myself.”

Lopes Dancer remains in the yard, having not attracted any claims after taking full advantage of a drop in grade to score at 1-2 despite jockey Joanna Mason dropping her whip.

Bethell said: “I picked this race out a while ago as he’s getting on a bit and he hasn’t been in winning form just lately so in order to get back to the winner’s enclosure we needed to put him into something that was more his grade. He did it well and it was tremendous to watch.”

More to read:

Trainer Harriet Bethell in intensive care after suffering head injuries in fall

Harriet Bethell ‘talking sense and remembering lots’ after horror fall

‘You use a knife and fork all your life but now I struggle – it’s unbearable’

‘It’s been a long road’ – Harriet Bethell to saddle comeback runner on Monday

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FIRST PUBLISHED 3:00PM, JAN 30 2022

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