A teenage horserider who survived a freak accident which could have cost her life has landed a dream job.
The expression “triumph in the face of adversity” could have been written with 19-year-old Amber Manfori-Lynn in mind.
Five years ago, would-be eventer Amber was run over by a horsebox with two animals inside, weighing two tons, outside her Huntingdon home when it slipped on wet grass.
It was to change her life.
She did not suffer any breaks but had a dislocated knee, torn ligaments and injured leg, back and pelvis.
“My left side was totally messed up,” said Amber, whose dream of becoming a riding instructor appeared to have ended.
“I didn’t ride for four years. I didn’t have the strength and it was too painful,” she said. “Horses have always been my life.”
She was to spend two months in a wheelchair and eight to ten weeks on crutches, before she became so annoyed by them, she threw them away.
But Amber, who had been taught to ride by her sister when she was only three years old, was not to be beaten.
About a year ago she was encouraged by a friend to go through the pain barrier and get on a horse again.
She delights in recalling: “It was a really good feeling. A great sense of achievement. I had my life back. I could do what I want.”
And that in the long-term would mean training to become a riding instructor for people with disabilities, providing counselling therapies.
She has completed a Level Three diploma in social care and is now undertaking Level Three 3 Extended Diploma in equine studies at the College of West Anglia’s Milton Cambridge Campus campus on the outskirts of Cambridge.
She says she is indebted to the college, which has also given her a staff role to enable to do more riding and catch up on the four years she has missed.
And although she did not break anything in her accident Amber has had a lucky break at last.
She was looking for a job on the Yard and Groom website and spotted a top eventing centre near Hamburg in Germany with a vacancy.
She applied. And her story of courage must have impressed the owners of the highly-ranked centre, who have emailed her to offer a six to 12-month stay next year.
Said Amber: “I couldn’t breathe. I had to get my mum to read it. Someone is giving me a chance.”
In her years of gloom she has become inseparable from her rescue dog, a Terrier X Staff called Bill, which will be going to Germany with her.
“He got me out. I wouldn’t have gone without Bill. He is my best friend. He is my companion.”
For the time being her ambition to become an instructor will be put on hold. She has a lot of riding and eventing to catch up on.
“It will be an amazing experience,” she said.