Ride of my life: Sidney Bailey

  • Huntsman Sidney Bailey recalls some happy hunting days with Coolie

    Coolie’s a lovely horse to ride. When you’re sat in covert, listening, or watching hounds drawing, he’s very quiet. Ifhe hears a fox, you’ll see him prick his ears. He just loves being with hounds.

    In our Thursday country, the Purton Stoke Vale [between Malmesbury and Cricklade], which not so long ago was as good as anywhere in Leicestershire, he’d jump anything. Ditches toward, ditches away from you, gates, anything.

    He’s such a super horse to ride. It doesn’t matter what you put him at, he jumps it – you just have to point him and he goes. And he is very, very sound.

    I had two accidents with him. I was opening a gate one day and he stepped back into a ditch. In a moment, he was upside-down and I was underneath him.

    Another time some burrs got under the sleeve on Coolie’s girth and he went absolutely mad. He bucked me off well and truly and I dislocated my shoulder. But he is a joy to ride.

    Yes, Coolie is a wonderful horse. He’s out at grass still, but we’ll soon be getting him in. He is 19 now, but he’ll do a few odd days next year.

    Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound (15 August) where William Hill on talks about his ‘ride of a lifetime’ at a point-to-point with Pampiri.

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