• 79-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, participates in dressage – and dream of the Olympic Games.

    Longtime horse lover William McPheat and his loaner Romany rode to the center line on November 29 in their first competition since the lockdown in Wales was lifted.

    “The people at the show were lovely,” said Katie, Mr. McPheat’s daughter. H&H. “Dad is blind in one eye and deaf, and four weeks ago we were diagnosed with cancer. He is receiving palliative care, and they told him very softly but he has since forgotten, and since he does not know it, he is happy and always looking to the future.

    Katie said Mr. McPheat’s dream included him and Romany competing in the Paris Olympic Games.

    “He was not sure with Covid if Tokyo would be on so Paris is giving him more luck,” she said. “It’s definitely in his head that he and Romany will be in Paris.”

    Katie said her father attended a one-day event last summer.

    “He was sitting there, smiling so proudly, and Romany is so sweet that he stepped over all the fences,” she said. “During the dressage test, I was standing in the middle telling him which way to turn, and he remembered to hold his head up and keep smiling.”

    Katie said her dad has trouble walking due to his arthritis, but on Romany he can feel like anyone else.

    “And he can hug Romany, he can’t hug any of us,” she said. “When he returned to the yard after the lockdown, it was very emotional; there was a huge hug for the roma, and daddy said: “i missed you, old man”.

    Mr. McPheat enjoyed riding as a child and returned to the saddle with the Green Meadow Riding Center Horse riding for the Association of the Handicapped group.

    He was riding a horse called Stroller, and then Romany, who is owned by Lindsey Blayney, came to see Mr. McPheat on Christmas Day 2017, with a red bow tied in his mane.

    The couple have lessons with Catrin John and Sam Whylie.

    “Sam does a lot of dressage, and he said we should go down to the arena, and he would get a judge and flags, and we could pretend it’s a tryout for the Olympic team,” said Katie.

    “We’re not sure when he got his cancer like they said weeks ago, but it could be two, 12 or 52. He’s already finished a month and is doing fine, so we’ll see if we can do that. after Christmas.

    “He loves going out in the trailer and being a part of what everyone else does, and he doesn’t know he’s different; the smile last Sunday when he walked around the arena with all the beautiful horses.

    “It’s just about being included and it’s amazing that people are so nice.”

    Continued below …

    “If anything happens, I know I’ve had a great life; that’s all anyone can ask for ‘

    The rider lost his finger when his ring got caught in the carpet strap of a panicked horse and

    Katie said horseback riding improves her father’s mobility and overall well-being, and hopes his story may give others hope that parents who love horses would like to get involved with them again.

    “I think it’s the smell of horses; it’s so heartwarming, ”she said. “Especially in these times of Covid, it’s something you can do and enjoy; during the lockdown, daddy’s rubber boots were still at the door.

    “He doesn’t remember Sunday but every time I mention it he gets that smile,” she added. “He knows something good has happened.”

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