Ipswich horse-lover goes from size 24 to size 12 - losing 7st to get back in the saddle

Claire Magill before she lost the weight

Claire Magill before she lost the weight - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk woman with a passion for horses has reined in the calories and lost 7st in 16 months – all to get back in the saddle.

Claire Magill and West. Photograph Simon Parker

Claire Magill and West. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Claire Magill, of Pembroke Close, Ipswich, has owned horses since she was a teenager.

Nine years ago she had her first son, Joe, and found it too difficult to juggle looking after him with looking after her horse B, so had to give up the horse – and her love of riding.

She said: “After that I put on a lot of weight throughout the years as I wasn’t doing as much and it got to the stage that it was too much, I had to do something about it.”

Mrs Magill was spurred on to lose weight following a holiday to Cheddar Gorge in Somerset in August 2013, where she became too exhausted from climbing 274 steps to the lookout tower to complete a three mile cliff top walk.

Claire Magill who lost seven stone in 16 months and fulfilled her dream of owning her own horse West

Claire Magill who lost seven stone in 16 months and fulfilled her dream of owning her own horse West. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant


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The 44-year-old said: “Not only was it clear that my weight was holding me back, it was holding my husband and son back as well.”

When she returned from holiday she weighed 20st and was wearing a size 24 – it was at this point that she decided to take action.

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“With a passion for horses since the age of six, I decided that this was one of the activities I wanted to enjoy on our next holiday, but to do this I would have to lose enough weight to ride again,” she said.

In September 2013, Mrs Magill, who works as an account manager, joined a Slimming World group at Halifax Primary School in Ipswich.

After just 16 months of following the diet plan, she slimmed down to 12st and was finally able to purchase her latest equine companion, West, and slip happily into a pair of size 12 jodhpurs.

Describing West, she said: “He is lovely, very placid, a very nice quiet character.”

In Easter, Mrs Magill will go back to Cheddar Gorge to complete the 274 steps to the lookout tower and the three mile cliff top walk, this time with ease.

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