83 year-old Audrey takes up horse riding again

83 year-old Audrey takes up horse riding again

Friday, August 24th, 2012

When her almost blind mother decided to horse-ride again, Victoria Lambert was worried. Now, it’s a hobby shared by three generations of her family.

After 40 years out of the saddle, my mother, Audrey Lambert, 83, who is almost completely blind, decided she wasn’t prepared to eke out her life listening to audiobooks or Radio 4, or counting the coffee spoons in her lovely retirement flat near Liphook in Hampshire.

“I can die falling off a horse or in front of daytime television,” she told me, firmly. “And I know which way I’d rather go.” So she has taken up riding again.

Mum is not the only person to be riding tall after a long time away. Comedienne Jennifer Saunders, 54, can be seen currently in a two-part ITV documentary, Back in the Saddle, as she aims to take up competitive riding again after a gap of four decades. Saunders, whose goal is taking part in the Badminton Horse Trials, said: ”I’m absolutely terrified. I really don’t want to fall off. You get to a point in your life where you can imagine how much that’s going to hurt and how many bones will snap – they’re probably all made of powder now.’’

Saunders had never given up riding entirely but is now being hailed as a role model for women of all ages by British Eventing, the sport’s governing body. “Many women challenge the perception that growing older means you have to slow down – eventing allows them to take up that challenge,” says chief executive Mike Etherington-Smith.