A DISABLED show jumper who rode for Great Britain has had to stop competing because of injuries suffered when an attacker pulled her out of her wheelchair and dragged her across a road.
Susi Rogers-Hartley was assaulted by Kyle Fenton, 20, after she went to speak to a teenager who spooked her three horses by repeatedly revving his moped in the rural lane where she lives.
She said Fenton went to hit her with a wrench and pulled her out of the chair by her hands when she tried to defend herself.
‘He twisted all the ligaments and tendons so I can’t close my hands, they’re so sore and painful,’ she said.
‘I’m getting arthritic now because of it. I’ve had to change the way I ride so I’ve had to give up show jumping and dressage.’
Ms Rogers-Hartley has had to use a wheelchair since suffering a spinal injury when she fell from a horse during training in the Royal Navy 20 years ago.
But she went on to compete in Para competitions all over the world, becoming a Hickstead dressage champion. She also appeared in a Lloyds Bank advert in 2014, climbing on a horse and galloping through woods.
The 52-year-old was attacked in August last year near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, after a neighbour remonstrated with the young moped rider and she went out to try to calm things down.
Fenton later arrived on the scene, she said. ‘When Kyle went to attack me my instinct was to protect my face and use my hands to defend myself,’ she said.
‘He then stretched my hand back and pulled me off out of my wheelchair. That is how low and cowardly he is. It is ridiculous — what the hell is going on in this world?’
Fenton was sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work last Wednesday at Norwich crown court, after being convicted of assault, threatening behaviour and possessing an offensive weapon.
He received a nine-month suspended sentence after earlier being warned by magistrates that he faced jail.
‘It’s pathetic, the law system now,’ said Ms Rogers-Hartley.
‘He should have got hard labour.’