It’s supposed to be a moment to treasure — you’re thrilled to have won the class, collected the ribbons and you’re beyond proud of the winner’s sash which now adorns your horse’s neck, so you turn towards the photographer for that final memento of your big day… only for your equine partner to decide he doesn’t do “standing still” any more — prize-giving is play-time, surely? These acrobatic horses with a twinkle in their eye certainly seem to think so…
1. Waving to the crowd
Winning this year’s Rolex grand prix in Aachen — one of the toughest showjumping competitions in the world — obviously went straight to the head of Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet’s awesome grey mare Coree. Waving to her fans as she took centre stage, it can only be a matter of time before she’s signing her own autographs and whipping out the selfie stick at every opportunity…
2. I’m freeeeeeeeee!
After an unfortunate slip-up in the lap of honour, Nations Cup rider Janne-Friederike Meyer’s mount makes an impressive bid for freedom at the Royal International. This opportunist grey (not the German’s winning ride) made Frankel look snail-paced as he enjoyed a solo circuit of the hallowed Hickstead turf.
3. Hug a horse
Oh Willis! Ensuring all eyes are on fifth placed Willis, rather than the winner, after the advanced medium restricted championship at the Nationals at Stoneleigh in 2012, rider Julia Morris can do little more than hold on tight — well sat Julia!
4. Ride ‘em cowboy
Maikel van der Vleuten of the Netherlands is used to his mount VDL Groep Verdi TN NOP throwing in a few bucks, but he received the full rodeo treatment during the lap of honour for the European team jumping championships in 2015. Well, it’s not every day you win a gold medal.
5. Once one goes, they all go…
We’re not sure who started this, but everyone’s going airbourne during the presentation for the novice open at the National Dressage Championships in 2011 — all four feet off the ground with toes pointed, dressage horses certainly know how to show off in style.
6. When that winning feeling bubbles over
Loughnatousa WB looks ready and raring to gallop round the Hickstead Derby track one more time, despite having just secured a tremendous second victory for his rider Trevor Breen in 2015. ‘I bet Boomerang never behaved like this’ we heard Trevor Breen whisper in the exuberant chestnut’s ear…
7. Heading for the naughty step
Nicky Patrick described the young Uglesias as “a naughty school boy” and the gelding was heading for the naughty corner after his antics during the prize-giving at the National Dressage Championships. We think he was just rehearsing a few more pirouettes.
8. Bottoms up
And finally, we all covet a prize at the prestigious Dublin Horse Show so we don’t blame this lightweight hunter for enjoying all the excitement just a little bit too much…