It Happens! With Vivian Golden, Richard Slocum and Tim Maddrix

Tim Maddrix. Photo by Eye Was Here Photography

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!

Vivian Golden

Vivian Golden
As told by her mother, Olivia Golden

“Vivian was 10, on her medium pony at Pony Finals, and she did well in the model and the hack. She’s coming back third, she goes in, jumps the first jump, it’s beautiful. 

Then the pony trips on the backside and Vivian almost goes flying. She’s totally discombobulated, gets herself back in the saddle, goes back around, but when something like that happens you’re so shocked, so she jumped the first jump and ended up getting eliminated.”

Richard Slocum. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Richard Slocum

“I had done well the first day in a first-year green division, so I thought I’d go really early the next day after winning the under saddle. I remember thinking that it had been a long time since I had made a big mistake. Well, I turned the corner and I gunned my horse so fast that I chipped so bad and ended up in front of the saddle. I could hear the judge, who was my friend, laughing.”

Tim Maddrix

“The first time I went to Devon I had one client and we qualified for Devon in theRegular Working Hunters. I think I was 22 years old. It wasn’t hard to qualify in that division and I had no idea what I was doing. I got Daniel Geitner to help me—he had no idea who I was.

The last day was “make your own handy.” I did it really poorly. I probably made the hardest handy possible. I plowed out the two-stride. I decided to do an end jump and it was like a bending seven and a 90-degree turn to the double. I just took out every rail of the double.

I also showed up in my beige britches and my normal tie. Daniel was like, ‘Tim, you gotta wear whites, it’s stake day.’ So, he gives me his white tie for the class, I tell him my plan, and he’s looking at me like, ‘Okay, stupid kid, whatever you want.’ I got a 24. That was my score—24! I went to give him his tie back and he says, ‘No thanks, you can keep that. Good job staying on in the two-stride.’”

*This story was originally published in the December 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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