A dream came true for a West Norfolk woman when she was chosen to ride the big black horse in the new Lloyds TV advert.
Para show jumper Susi Rogers-Hartley was asked to appear in the final scenes of the stunning advert, which celebrates the bank’s 250th anniversary by charting the use of horses during that time.
Susi, who lives on the outskirts of Lynn, broke her neck and back in three places during an accident 18 years ago while serving in the Royal Navy.
But she has refused to let the accident prevent her from pursing her passion.
Susi features in the final scenes of the advert mounting the horse, which is supplied by the Devils Horseman company, from her ingenious wheelchair before heading out into the woods for a gallop on the stunning steed.
She said: “It was a childhood dream to ride the black horse in the advert.
“It was such a privilege to be able to ride such a noble horse.
“The whole advert is beautifully put together from the start to finish. I feel really privileged to have done it.”
No stranger to riding stunning horses, Susi currently competes on her Belgian warmblood Summer and prior to that her multi- champion Seamus, who has been retired after breaking his pelvis.
Susi, who competes in showjumping and dressage, is hoping to encourage more people to get into the saddle and has been giving demonstrations at open days for West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled.
Using her ingenious wheelchair, which raises Susi to the right height, she is able to mount and dismount Summer without requiring help.
Susi said: “If I can encourage one person to pick up the reins then I’m happy.
“After my injury, people kept telling me ‘no’ when I tried to get back into the saddle. That’s the worst thing to say to me.
“I’m pleased that I have my own horses and compete. We were shortlisted for Hong Kong 2012.
“I have cracked on and have been successful. If you want to do something, do it.”
Susi and Summer’s partnership began in September and is already proving to be strong.
Summer had to learn wheelchair etiquette and stands perfectly still for Susi as she mounts and dismounts.
The bay mare is also intently focused on Susi’s voice commands while they are working.
The pair will be giving a demonstration later this year at the prestigious Blenheim Palace Horse Trials in September.