A PENSIONER whose award-winning horse riding career was nearly ended through injury is back in the saddle just three months after having her second hip replacement in a year.

Equestrian enthusiast Meg Bennell won a medal at the prestigious Henley on Thames Dressage Show just 16 weeks after her first hip operation last year.

She was forced to stop riding her trophy-winning pony Prospect Poppy again in November as she prepared to go under the knife to have her other hip replaced.

And the 66-year-old, who retired as medical secretary at the Marlow Medical Group on Victoria Road in 2011 is now gearing up to get back to competition just 12 weeks after her second spell in hospital.

She said: "I promised my surgeon I will wait until three whole months after my last operation before I rode again but, I have to admit, the day couldn’t come soon enough."

"The first time back on the saddle was fantastic and I had no problems with either of my hips.

"I go to see Poppy every day and keep telling her it won’t be long before we’re competing together again - I think she’s just as excited as I am."

Meg, who lives in Westhorpe Park, first noticed a pain in her right hip while competing in a dressage event in June 2012.

By Christmas she had to stop riding altogether, and by February last year she couldn’t even do jobs around the stable.

But with her operations going smoothly and the horse lover making a rapid recovery, Meg and Poppy are back in training with a view to competing again in the near future.

Both of Meg's operations were carried out by orthopaedic surgeon Gurdeep Biring at the BMI Chiltern Hospital in Great Missenden.

Mr Biring said: "It is not unusual for someone to need both hips treating in a short space of time, after all you use both hips equally so why wouldn’t they wear out together.

"However, it is really pleasing to see someone like Meg recovering so well, although I am going to have to be very strict to make sure she doesn’t overdo things."