Para dressage rider to perform at Devon County Show

Para dressage rider Ed Chanin and his up and coming young horse, Frankie, will be performing across all three days of the 2024 Devon County Show
Para dressage rider Ed Chanin and his up and coming young horse, Frankie, will be performing across all three days of the 2024 Devon County Show -Credit:DC Media

A leading para dressage rider will be performing at the 2024 Devon County Show, where the overarching theme for this year is accessibility and inclusivity.

Ed Chanin and his up and coming young horse, Frankie, are set to give displays in the Phil Greed (Countryside) Arena on all three days of the premier agricultural event, which is taking place from May 16-18 at Westpoint Exeter.

Ed, who is right-side paraplegic, made the switch from jump racing to dressage when he finally returned to the saddle after a near fatal fall in 2001.

He explains: “Horses have always been part of my life. I started riding from the age of two and by the time I was nine, I already had the title of showjumping champion at Hickstead under my belt. I grew up with my father breaking in and training horses to race in point-to-points, so it was a natural progression for me to take up the sport when I was 16. I left school and went to work in a National Hunt racing yard in Minehead.

In October 2001, 18-year-old Ed had his first winner under rules for Philip Hobbs in the Smart Choice Amateur Riders Novice Hurdle at Exeter, aboard six-year-old Gunther McBride.

But less than two months later on December 19, Ed’s potentially promising career as a jockey was brought to an abrupt end. “I suffered a near fatal fall when jump schooling at the trainer’s yard, I had a serious head injury and was unconscious with a broken back. I was resuscitated twice and placed on life support for several weeks.

“Six months later, after being in five different hospitals, I was given the green light to go home. I was paralysed down my right-hand side. I then spent the best part of two years having physiotherapy to help me walk and talk again, fighting hard all the way to get my life back.”

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Ed says the turning point in his recovery process was when his parents started taking him to their local Riding for the Disabled (RDA) centre. “She remembers so well that it was the first time she’d seen my face really beaming since the accident,” he adds. “And then they bought me my first dressage horse, Shergar.”

A part-bred Arab, Shergar was the first in a string of dressage horses which Ed has trained to compete at countless events across the country, taking part in both para and able-bodied competitions.

Meeting his future wife, Marie, in 2009, the couple are now parents to daughters Grace and Isla, who both have their own ponies. Ed says his happiest moments are when he is out hacking with them around the Devon countryside.

Ed loves to perform and is devoted to bringing on his latest horse, Frankie, who is four years old and stands at 17.2 hands. “He’s a gentle giant and is so eager to learn. He’s really coming along and I’m so excited to bring him to the Devon County Show to perform in a non-competitive environment where we can both relax and enjoy the moment.”

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Lisa Moore, manager of the Devon County Show, said: “It’s fantastic to have Ed and Frankie at the show. This year, it’s all about making the show more accessible and inclusive for everyone, and this also includes our performance artists.

“Ed is not only one of the finest dressage riders in the country, but he’s also such an incredibly positive person. Of course, we want him to demonstrate his incredible skills in horsemanship, but we are also keen for him to show our county show audience that whatever life decides to throw at you, anything is possible”.

To find out more about Devon County Show and to book tickets, visit