A Vermont-area woman is coming under fire for insisting her husband sign up for an experimental drug trial that pays $20,000 to participants, all so she can continue paying training bills for herself and her dressage horse.

Neighbours raised alarm bells last week when Bill Orses confided in them that his wife, Mary Orses, had registered him for an experimental drug trial and that he would begin the treatments next month.

“Bill came to me close to tears, saying he knew his wife’s horse addiction was bad, but didn’t realize she’d go this far to get more money to feed it,” said their neighbour Walt Kreig. “He said to me, Walt, I love her, so I’ll do it, I just hope to live through it and that she will be satisfied from here on out.”

Bill himself declined to comment for this story, but Mary invited Horse Network to meet her and her Dutch Warmblood GeldPut. While receiving a lunge lesson to learn rising trot, she insisted that she and her husband have a shared dream of seeing her compete in the Olympics.

“My husband Bill is an adult capable of giving full legal consent. He is willingly participating in the drug trial to earn more money to support my dreams,” Orses revealed, as she struggled to tell which diagonal she was on at the trot.

Mary has set her sights on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “We all have to sacrifice to achieve our dreams. Bill is sacrificing so I’ll have enough money to learn to canter,” she said.

As it is a blind study, Bill and Mary do not know what the drug is for, only that the risks included hair loss, significant weight gain and possibly death.