A FARRIER who was in a coma for eight weeks after being kicked in the head by a horse is set to compete a remarkable fightback when he rides with a Boxing Day hunt today (Thursday).

Matt Allen, from Weobley, was working at a farm in Whitney-on-Wye in February when the animal kicked out and struck him in his face.

The 26-year-old fell backwards and hit his head on a metal post - causing him to cut his head open and break his nose and both eye sockets.

Matt, who has been a farrier ever since he left Weobley High School, was sent to Hereford County Hospital before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

There, he spent eights weeks in an induced coma before he was sent to the nearby Moseley Rehabilitation Centre.

Matt was eventually allowed home in June and has been recovering ever since.

However, he has found it very difficulty to ride his horse Ed due to the injuries he sustained in the accident.

But, a chance message on social network site Facebook got Matt and his family in touch with newly formed charity Ride2Achieve (R2A), which is a member of Riding for the Disabled.

R2A is based at Millside Stables in Credenhill and it is there that Matt has excelled so much so that he should be able to ride in the Radnor and West Herefordshire Hunt today.

"I have had a lot of support since the accident and I cannot thank Janet Alderton and everyone at R2A enough for what they have done for me," said Matt.

"When I was got back home from hospital, I was under a lot of medication, which made some things difficult.

"Physio was also not working, because all I was doing was exercises on a gym ball.

"A colleague of Janet's phoned my mum and arranged for me to do a programme with R2A.

"If it all goes to plan, I will be able to do the Boxing Day Hunt."

R2A head coach Janet Alderton has been providing Matt with therapeutic sessions as part of a five week programme.

She is also confident that Matt will be able to achieve his dream of riding at the meet.

"Matt has made huge progress and is riding six times a week, as well as doing additional fitness work," said Janet.

"When he arrived, he had problems with his mobility and could not co-ordinate.

"He found it very difficult to be motivated and was desperate to be a farrier again.

"We put him on a five week programme and he has been brilliant in managing himself.

"I have no doubts that he will be at the hunt, which initially, his parents thought was unrealistic.

"He is a young man fighting to get his life back and the people of Hereford have the right to get behind him."

Janet added that any donations to extend Matt's programme will be gratefully received.

To help, call 07817 831108 or visit ride2achieve.prg