#TBT to when a loose event horse dive bombed a dressage arena #WhatHappenedNext

  • With the start of the eventing season on the horizon, we’re throwing it back to when a five-star eventer had an unwanted guest turn up during her dressage test...

    Doing dressage without any distractions is tricky enough, but Imogen Murray and Roheryn Ruby had to cope with avoiding an extra horse in their arena during Oasby Horse Trials on 8 March 2019.

    Five-star rider Imogen and the then 11-year-old bay mare, owned by M S Team and Fran Reeve, were performing their test in open intermediate section L at the Lincolnshire event when a loose horse came careering through the dressage area.

    The horse had galloped its way from the cross-country, where it had lost its rider before making its presence known at the dressage, despite countless efforts to try and catch it along the way.

    Imogen and Roheryn Ruby, who among their achievements together won the CCI2* (now CCI3-L) at Le Pin au Haras in 2018, kept their composure throughout and even managed to score 26.1 (75.9%), which left them in third place after the first phase in their section.

    Imogen said: “The first time I saw the horse galloping towards us I thought ‘Oh, God, what’s Ruby going to do?!’ as she’s usually quite a hot mare and can explode in the dressage, so I was very surprised with how she just carried on. Once I realised she wasn’t at all bothered by it, I was howling to myself — the way the loose horse kept coming back for more was quite funny.”

    Sally Redrup, who was dressage stewarding Imogen’s arena said: “I think Imogen and her horse were absolutely fantastic given the circumstances — the way they both kept their cool was very admirable and we all gave them a round of applause after their final halt.”

    Continued below…

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    The loose horse was caught soon after the completion of Imogen’s test and was led back to its rider unscathed. Fortunately Imogen’s arena was the only one of seven in total that had competitors in it, limiting the chance of disaster.

    Imogen and ‘Ruby’ went on to finish eighth, adding four-faults from the showjumping and 3.6 cross-country time-faults to their impressive first phase score.

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