Horseshoe, Not Horse, Knocks Pole in Ottawa

Taylor St Jacques and Jakilly. Photo by Debby Jamroz

By Catie Staszak

In show jumping competition, in order to incur a jumping penalty (unrelated to disobedience and the open water), the horse must cause the height of the fence to be lowered.

That would imply that if anything attached to the horse lowered the height of the fence, it would also result in four faults. But what if something attached to the horse became unattached?

Such a unique circumstance presented itself in the MLSJ Team Event at CSI5*/CSI2* Ottawa. Taylor St Jacques (CAN) was aboard Jakilly when the horse threw a shoe when taking off over the first jump, a triple bar. The shoe hit the top rail of the fence, causing it to fall. However, judges did not count the rail, because “a shoe flying through the air to knock down a jump is no longer part of the horse. Fortunately, this jump was located right in front of our Jury Box, which made it an easy call.”

Read more from Phillip Rozon, a member of the Ground Jury:

Situations like these serve as great reminders to not only be well-versed in the FEI Jumping Rules, but to also never let up until you’ve crossed the finish timers. That rail just might not have been yours!


Show jumping commentator and journalist Catie Staszak is the CEO of Catie Staszak Media, Inc. and the color commentator and journalist for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League for the last four years. Catie has announced at showjumping events across the globe, and in 2018, she moderated at the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2021, she received the inaugural AHP Equine Media NextGen Award for making “a significant impact in advancing equine media while upholding journalistic excellence, integrity, and trust in a competitive communications world.”

Catie began doing editorial work for The Plaid Horse in early 2020 before growing her role as Digital Content Manager and Co-Host of the Plaidcast in 2021. When she’s not working, she’s enjoying time with her two horses—”superhero” Zantos and 8-year-old Petey—her dog/production assistant Omaha and cat/office assistant Turtle.

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