Winning riders flinging their rosettes in the air is a frequent sight, but flying helmets? Not so common.

And an impromptu bare-headed celebration has left Brazilian showjumper Carlos Ribas out of pocket.

After winning the 6-bar competition at the World Cup show in Mechelen, Belgium, last month (28 December), Carlos jubilantly stripped off his helmet and threw it into the air.

The rider then galloped around the arena and jumped 2 fences, hatless, on the way out.

But it was a case of “no hat no win”, as Carlos was subsequently demoted into fourth place for breaking FEI rules — losing him prize-money of €7,500. Carlos, at least, was nothing if not gracious about the debacle, and donated his reduced winnings to charity.

“I admit that I made a mistake, but I did it because the crowd was so enthusiastic. I am a professional rider, but I ride with my heart,” he said.

We take our hats off to you, sir (but not while mounted, obviously…).

This story was originally published in 16 January 2014  issue of Horse & Hound