When horses get as far as HOYS, it is such an achievement and they are so at the top of their game that you rarely see any major “blips”. Certainly, one might see a touch of over exuberance (ahem) occasionally, but there are rarely falls, at least in the “flat” showing classes.
So today, when both a rider AND the saddle parted company with their four-legged conveyance, it was something of a shock. And it’s easy to be flippant now, when both – or rather, all three – left the arena none the worse, but it was not happy viewing at the time.
The Arab gelding Sameon Marouhk was coming off the corner at the sponsors’ end of the Caldene Arena when something obviously disturbed him and he plunged violently forwards. His rider and his saddle flew over his head. Ben Hester was thrown well clear, but the saddle was caught, with the reins, around the horse’s legs. For a few seconds – although it felt like minutes – it looked like he might be brought down, but Marouhk thankfully kicked free.
It just goes to show that, no matter how well prepared you may be, a momentary distraction can undo a season of toil.
The 2012 ridden pure-bred Arab of the year title went to the stallion Patros HB over the gelding OAS Plashaal. The champion is a handsome chestnut who stood out against the greys, but ringside opinion was that the mare class was the strongest this year.
But that’s showing, isn’t it? It’s who the judge is looking at, and how they go, on the day. The important thing for everyone – including Sameon Maroukh on HOYS Friday – is that there will always be another day.
Don’t miss our full report on all the action from Horse of the Year Show in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 11 October, 2012