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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Vision is much more than seeing says 'the blind chick'


ABOVE: Sue-Ellen Lovell with husband, Matthew, and Johno. Picture: @2CPHOTOGRAPHY

SUE-ELLEN Lovett is a blind cancer-survivor and paralympian who will not take no for an answer. I found her warts-and-all story one of bravery, of loving horses and a determination to succeed.

The Blind Chick is the second in a pair of books written by Sue-Ellen about her life, but the two really should be read together so also look out for Johno and the Blind Chick.

The books tell the story of how Sue-Ellen – born into a family with a blind mother, an amputee brother and a sister with the same disease that caused Sue-Ellen's total blindness – embraced life, driven by the philosophy that "if there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel, go and light the bloody thing yourself".

And that she did, never letting her blindness stop her from pursuing her love of horses, which eventually led her to representing her country in paralympic dressage.

ABOVE: The Blind Chick by Sue-Ellen Lovett.

What I found particularly brave in the book was the way Sue-Ellen answered questions about how she manages things, both personal and equestrian. The sort of things people would like to know but are too shy to bring up are discussed in chapters dotted throughout the book titled, “Questions most people aren’t game to ask!”

I did like getting to know Johno the horse and Leo the guide dog. Johno and The Blind Chick is mostly written from the view of Johno, her much-loved, giant warmblood horse. Johno gives us the nuts and bolts of life in general of the life of a para horse working with a “blind chick”. So much is involved. Sue- Ellen does get to drift in and out, more so when Johno is diagnosed with equine shivers, but you learn a lot about how a determined handicapped rider and a very special horse make it work.

Both books provide a really worthwhile view into two very special lives.

I passed The Blind Chick on to a friend to see if we agreed on its value. She said:

“I enjoyed reading the trials and tribulations of her life. Her can-do attitude, tenacity and willingness to accept support in her ambitions. I admire her father and husband, Mathew, and her family are to be praised. The editorial and poetry make this book a delight to read.” (Marion Nash)

Sue-Ellen, who lives with husband of 20 years Matthew at Dubbo, NSW, has spoken to more than 50,000 people at nearly 1000 events in over 650 locations around Australia.

Her ability to motivate and inspire is off the charts.

She is available for interviews, podcasts, speaking engagements, demonstration rides or special events. Simply email her here.


(Click any image to expand)

The Blind Chick

by Sue-Ellen Lovett

Inquire with the author about Johno and The Blind Chick

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