Are you a fearless five-bar gate jumper?

  • The Quorn is running a new contest to find hunting’s best gate jumper.

    The competition, at Vale View Equestrian Centre, Old Dalby, Leics, on 26 March, recalls the antics of the maverick Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquis of Waterford, in 1838.

    “The Mad Marquis” is reputed to have wagered that a horse could jump a five-bar gate, set across the dining room at his Quorn hunting box, Lowesby Hall.

    A grey horse named Don Juan, ridden by a Mr Manning from Aylesbury, achieved the feat, winning the aristocrat 100 guineas.

    The modern reincarnation, organised by Quorn field master Ashley Bealby, is open to subscribers from all recognised hunts. They will jump a gate starting at 3ft and rising to 6ft 6in maximum.

    Riders must jump the gate cleanly in both directions to stay in the competition.

    The winner’s prize is £1,000 and a trophy replica of the original gate, still at Lowesby.

    Horses registered with British Showjumping in the previous five years, or with affiliated winnings of more than £500, are ineligible.

    “It may get people over their fear of jumping the odd gate out hunting,” said Mr Bealby.
    Entry fee is £55 — £15 for spectators —and the event starts at 6pm.

    Contact Ashley Bealby on 07824 825266 for more information.

    This news story was first publised in the current issue of Horse & Hound (3 March, 2011)

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