Amanda Paice, who works as an Administrator at Tandridge Heights Care Home in Oxted, is celebrating achieving her childhood dream despite having been diagnosed with Myalgia Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) eight years ago.
Amanda’s dream was to qualify for the Horse of the Year Show, and though living with M.E. leaves her feeling constantly tired and drained, she didn’t give up on her ambitions and is delighted to have achieved that dream when she qualified in May 2015.
Amanda said: “Some days my M.E. is better than others. Until January of this year I was working full time at Tandridge Heights Memorial Care Home in Oxted Surrey, however my condition has deteriorated and this is no longer within my limitations but with the support of the staff around me I am able to do part time.
“My husband Colin never grumbles, he knows how important my horses are to me on a bad day they give me purpose to carry on. When I hear Ted [Amanda's horse] wickering at me and nuzzling me it makes me smile inside and I know it's worth the struggle.
“When we compete I am always mindful of my limitations and provide a brief letter to the judge explaining my condition, advising that I am not always able to ride for long periods of time and that I am not able to trot up my own horse. The judges are always understanding and encouraging which I am very grateful for.”
She added: “Qualifying for HOYS has been my biggest and best achievement ever - I don't think it can get any better than that!”
The Horse of the Year Show starts on 7th October. Best of luck, Amanda!