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Jaw-dropping photo of horse jumping over top of the wings goes viral

“No scope, no hope” is an oft-used phrase in showjumping circles but, if this amazing photo taken over a practice fence is anything to go by, 11-year-old gelding Jeff Ten Halven has it in bucketloads.

The picture of the gelding soaring over the wings in the collecting ring was taken by French journalist Jessica Rodrigues just before the 1.55m four-star grand prix on the Champions Tour in Vilamoura, Portugal, last week (13 November).

It perfectly captures the vertigo-inducing moment Irish rider Michael Duffy experiences lift-off, while remaining perfectly poised in the saddle.

“He’s one of the most amazing jumpers I’ve ever sat on in my life,” Michael told H&H of the gelding he’s been riding for the past year.

“The picture was taken as we were warming up for the grand prix and that was the last oxer he jumped before we went in. He certainly wasn’t going to touch it was he? He’s about a metre higher than the poles!

“I know he has all the scope, but even I was surprised when I saw the picture – from the angle it’s taken, it really looks as though he’s jumping about three-quarters of the way up those trees!”

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Michael and Jeff Ten Halven were drawn early in the grand prix and fell foul of the extremely tight time-allowed to return home with just one time-fault, but the Irishman is very excited about HMF Equestrian’s talented gelding.

“He’s always been a fantastic horse but he’s certainly one for the bigger tracks – I’d say Spruce Meadows and Aachen would be perfect for him,” said Michael, who went on to help the Irish team finish third in the Nations Cup this week (Tuesday, 17 November).

“I’m very thankful to have an extremely talented string of horses at the minute.”

Don’t miss all the action from Vilamoura Champions Tour, and more, in next week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 3 December.

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