By Tyler Bui
We all make mistakes. But horse people, as a group, aren’t always the best at handling them. So TPH reached out to some top riders to share their own show ring bloopers to prove, once and for all, that mistakes really do happen to the best of us!
“I was showing in a young jumper class at Old Salem several years ago, and I wanted to get in the ring a little early while the rider before me was finishing.
When I got to the in-gate, my horse got a little shy and didn’t want to go in the ring, so I gave him a good kick. It worked! He cantered right in, immediately after bucking me off at the in-gate. He lapped the ring for a solid five minutes, and in the process, he left poor Julie Welles, who had gone before me, stranded in the middle of the ring on a six-year-old stallion while my horse ran literal circles around her.
Thankfully someone finally caught him, but I did think to myself that maybe he’d go better the next day if we let him keep going for a while longer!”
Molly Ashe Cawley
“There used to be a Kentucky World Cup Qualifier in the fall, and we used to always ship down just to do that Grand Prix. I walked the course at least 20 times because there was one line that was really bothering me—it was a combination, a four to a one stride, but there was another four to a one stride on the other side of the ring.
Long story short, after shipping all the way to Kentucky just for that one class, I did the lines in the wrong order. I’m going around the course and they’re beeping at me because I was off course and I had no idea. Not many people can say that they have gone off course at a World Cup Qualifier.”
“They had the big derby in the hotel ring during week six at WEC. I was riding Shutterbug and it was the second time he stepped up to the big derbies and he was jumping lights-out in the schooling area. Probably the best he’s ever jumped. And I’m going in there like, we got this.
They had a dotted line, and I didn’t really pay attention to the dotted line because I wasn’t going to tour the ring. I went in and I just did a circle by the in-gate, and the first jump was away from the in-gate. As I was doing my circle, I saw a bush. Cantered right around the bush. I saw the bush from ten strides away and was like, eh, I’ll sweep right around it, that’ll give me a good approach to the first jump. And I crossed the dotted line. Disqualified.
*This story was originally published in the April 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!
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