Two show jumpers were hailed heroes after saving a pony from a burning horsebox on the A1(M).

Scott Brash (pictured) and Roger McCrea were en route from Edinburgh to the British Show Jumping Association Area 15 show at Allerton Park in North Yorkshire on 7 June.

Just before 9am, a small transit-type lorry travelling three cars in front of the riders ground to a halt near junction 49 at Thirsk as smoke started pouring from the engine.

“The driver was panicking, trying to put the fire out with a tiny extinguisher, so we jumped out and ran to help,” said Scott.

The van was parked so close to the barrier that the ramp wouldn’t open.

“We tried to pull it forward with a rope, but the handbrake was on,” said Scott. “I pulled the pony off and Roger jumped in behind to scare it— luckily it jumped down just before the lorry was completely engulfed.”

Roger added: “It all happened very quickly. Anyone in their right mind would have done the same — we couldn’t leave the pony on the lorry.”

With the motorway closed for an hour and a half, many riders were held up, but show officials ensured everyone had enough time to warm up.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed they attended the incident and that no humans nor animals were injured.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (18 June, ’09)