Eventer Ginny Howe survived a hairy moment when her girth snapped over a fence at Osberton International Horse Trials.

Ginny was riding her sister Rachael Sheppard’s horse Echo P in the CCI2* at the Nottinghamshire event (27 September – 1 October) when the incident happened.

“Looking at the video I think it happened two strides out [from fence six],” Ginny told H&H.

“I was on a good stride, but he added another one.”

She added she gave Echo P a couple of smacks after the fence as she thought he needed “waking up”, not realising that her girth had given way.

She continued galloping round the corner and noticed what had happened about four strides out from the combination at fence seven.

“I thought my saddle had slipped back because my girth wasn’t tight enough, which I’m paranoid about,” Ginny added.

She pulled up and knew that as soon as she jumped off she would be eliminated, but also that there was no way she could safely continue.

“[My horse] was amazing, bless him,” said Ginny.

“He is my sister’s and she had saved up all season to get him to Osberton.”

The eight-year-old gelding had stepped up to intermediate this year and this was his first two-star run.

The combination scored 49.8 in the dressage and had jumped clear up to fence seven.

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“[The break] was inside the girth — there was no way to tell it was going to break,” said Ginny.

“We are really thorough with [checking] the tack before every event. Sue [Corbett, who works with the Howes] and my mum are so pernickety about stitching.

“Both straps came away from the girth underneath the leather.”

Ginny had used the same girth on both her other horses that weekend and said that although it was disappointing, she was “very lucky” it gave way when it did, rather than at a worse moment or on a horse who would not have coped so well.

“We were both fine,” she added.

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