A rider who suffered a cut nose when his stirrup iron broke minutes before he was due to start his Burghley cross-country round has told H&H how he managed to recover to jump clear.

Kiwi event rider Dan Jocelyn was jumping a practice fence on 10-year-old Dassett Cool Touch when his iron snapped in half.

As Dan struggled to regain his balance, his horse jerked his head up, hitting Dan in the face and leaving him with a bloody nose.

“The funny thing was I was warmed up and ready to go and then there was a 20-minute hold,” Dan told H&H.

“When I had the eight-minute call I thought I’d better jump again before I go. As I landed the stirrup iron snapped clean in half.

“It was such a shock I nearly came off. I lost my balance and my horse reacted and smacked me in the head.

“I was stunned. I didn’t know what happened — there was blood all over me.”

Dan had five minutes left before he had tostart and did not have any spare stirrups, but fellow Kiwi rider Tim Price came to his aid.

“Tim ran to get a stirrup from one of his saddles,” said Dan.

“I was riding in a new saddle so it was hard to get the stirrup leather back on once we had the iron.

“We had to take off the saddle off in the end and it was pouring with rain.”

Dan was ready just in time and finished clear with 15.6 time penalties.


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The following day he incurred 12 faults in the showjumping, which secured him 13th place in the four-star.

Dan had been riding in traditional metal stirrup irons and is not sure of their make.

“I might change all my old stirrups,” he added.

“If I hadn’t jumped that last warm-up jump, it could have happened in the cross-country like poor old Sam [Griffiths],” added Dan.

Australian rider Sam was galloping between the third and fourth fences when the bolts holding the bottom of his stirrup iron in place “sheared off” (news, 8 September).

Sam continued for part of the course with one stirrup, but pulled up after clearing the biggest fence on the track, the Cottesmore Leap complex (fences 12 and 13).