WELLINGTON Horse Trials saw Membury’s Laura Collett make a welcome and popular return to eventing this weekend, six weeks and six days after she suffered serious crush injuries during a fall at Tweseldown.

She partnered her faithful friend Noble Bestman in the Open Intermediate class, and the pair did not disappoint.

They made a fairytale comeback to win their section on their dressage score of 27.7, making light of the showjumping and cross country for a perfect double clear.

Collett was emotional about the return, saying: “It felt good to be back out there again. Noble Bestman was the perfect first ride back because I just know him inside out. I was a little bit nervous before the cross country but he gave me such a good feel that I felt really confident by the end, it just felt normal.

“My fitness has definitely played in part in getting me back in the saddle so quickly. I’m still doing physio daily – strengthening work in the gym, massage and stuff but I didn’t feel sore or tired physically afterwards.

“It was more tiring mentally than physically. My team have been great keeping the horses fit while I’ve been off so I owe them a lot.”

Collett also went back for a second day of competition, with Obos Cooley and Allora 3. Both had nice rounds but took it steady across country to finish with some time penalties, coming overall 15th and 22nd respectively. She’ll be out competing again this weekend at Keysoe with Cooley Lord Lux in the Novice.

Collett misses Burghley and Blenheim but has entries at Gatcombe in September with her top horses including Noble Bestman and Rayef, and will be heading to Boekelo in October.