LYME’S Kirsty Wiscombe continues to defy the odds.

Last year the endurance rider finished as the top British rider in the FEI World Open Endurance Rider Rankings just 12 months after recovering from a life-threatening illness.

And now, having won the Mirwart FEI World Veteran Rider Championship, the 41-year-old has begun another bout of rehabilitation after having both hips replaced.

Reflecting on the past year, Wiscombe said: “I have had a mixed season.

“Unfortunately I have struggled to ride most of the season due to severe osteoarthritis in my hips.

“However, Eskar, my 11-year-old pure bred gelding, has been fantastic and despite me being in a lot of pain he has looked after me all season.

“He has done two FEI one-star rides and two FEI two-star rides.

“For my final ride of the season I returned to Mirwart in Belgium and despite being in pain and having to be helped on and off Eskar, I had a fantastic ride.

“The ride is a tough hilly one and hosts the Belgium Nat-ional Championships. We finished seventh overall and won the Mirwart FEI World Vet-eran Rider Championship.

“Five days after the ride I had a total hip replacement on my right hip and I’ve just had a total replacement on my left hip.

“I’m very lucky as I have got one of the best orthopaedic consultants in the south west in Peter Ward of the Dorset Hip Clinic and I hope to start riding again at the end of February.

“I have set myself a high target and hope to do 160km mid-April, which will be less than five months after my second hip is replaced.

“My consultant sees no reason why with intensive physio this shouldn’t be possible.”