Jersey horse rider, 83, gets back in the saddle to help recovery from a stroke

  • ITV Channel's Emma Volney has been to meet 83-year-old Derek, who has been riding horses for more than 80 years.

A man who survived a stroke and cancer, 83, says horse riding has been the key to his recovery.

Field master Derek Clackett from Jersey says he's never happier than when in the saddle.

He started riding when he was a toddler, suffering his first fall when he was just two years old.

Mr Clackett went on to represent the island in national dressage, cross country and show jumping competitions - before becoming President of the Jersey Drag Hunt and District Commissioner for the Jersey Pony Club.

He has since retired from competitive sport and now runs a small farm in St Lawrence, where he shares his horses with the rest of his family, including his daughter.

He said: "It's a strange fact that one of the symptoms of the stroke was dizziness, but as soon as I get on a horse, that goes.

"It's good for your physique because you've got to sit up, you can't hunch back or anything."

Derek still rides most days. Credit: ITV Channel TV

His message to others: "Get a dog. Get up in the morning. Moan about the dog. Look at the weather and go, 'oh, I've got to take the dog for a walk,' but you're using your muscles, you're using your organs and you're spending less time at the doctors."

Derek rides most days, and despite approaching his 84th birthday, has no plans to hang up his boots.

He told ITV News: "It's like a drug. I suppose I'm never happy than when sitting on a horse!"

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