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From Death's Door to Winner's Ring

 WH Jedda in winners rug at Geelong

Eliza Wassell and WH Jedda after their amazing comeback win at Geelong Horse Trials.

© Natayla Vallelonga 


By Ellie Jolley

It’s a story to warm the heart when a horse destined for death is given a second chance. In 2016, the RSPCA seized 23 starving horses from a property in Bulla. One of those horses was a 4-year-old bay gelding of skin and bones who would go on to be called WH Jedda. 

He spent three, hard months at Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary who worked tirelessly to rehabilitate him before he headed to The Winged Horse Equine Welfare Inc.

Eliza Wassell could feel potential in WH Jedda when she saw him at The Winged Horse Equine Welfare Inc, and she decided to adopt him with the aim of eventing. But before that day, WH Jedda needed plenty of care and work to get him in top condition. 


Emaciated Bulla horse WH Jedda

WH Jedda when he and 22 other horses were seized from a property in Bulla in 2016. 


Eliza said she had been on the hunt for a young horse to bring on, but at first wasn’t sure WH Jedda was the right horse.

“It definitely was a huge risk taking Jedda on as he had a few health issues as well as being starved before his rescue,” Eliza said. 

“When I first met Jedda I wasn’t all that interested as he didn’t have a lot going for him, being such an uneducated, young, and starved horse with terrible leg conformation,” she said.

“The first time I worked with Jedda I knew there was something special about him which kept me from giving up on him when times got tough.” 

Eliza competed on WH Jedda at the Geelong Horse Trials winning the EVA 65 Grassroots and the Best Performed OTT 65cm in February. Eliza and WH Jedda’s success story only goes to show what amazing results can be achieved through perseverance and second chances.

“I went into the competition hoping just to get through it but to come home with a win proved to me that there is definitely something special about him and I can’t wait to see how he progresses,” Eliza said.

 “About 7 months ago I was told that Jedda may never be able to jump again which gutted me. So, for him to come back from that as well as everything else he’s been through was just astounding,” she said.

Since Geelong, Eliza and WH Jedda placed 3rd at Corio Moorabool Horse Trials and were coming 4th after the dressage phase at the Australian Eventing Championships, but they unfortunately missed a jump on cross country resulting in elimination. 

But their journey has only just begun, with Eliza planning to take WH Jedda as high as they can go.  


WH Jedda at Geelong

Eliza Wassell and WH Jedda during their dressage test at the Geelong Horse Trials.

© Natalya Vallelonga







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