‘Bloody hell!’ Horse and rider clear huge oxer as it blows down — with a Pimm’s gazebo flying overhead

  • A Pimm’s gazebo in full flight overhead and jumps blowing down as you’re clearing them — it was just another day in the office for national champions Adrian Speight and Millfield Baloney.

    “We had a bit of excitement, didn’t we!” Adrian told H&H. “Bloody hell!”

    The combination were last to go in the jump-off of the International Stairway class at the Great Yorkshire Show yesterday (13 July) and were turning for the last line when Adrian spotted the rogue red gazebo in mid-air.

    “When I turned, I saw the marquee coming over the top of the stands and thought ‘What the hell; if he sees that I’ve got no chance’,” Adrian said. “I was talking to the judge afterwards and she said they didn’t know what to do, whether to ring the bell, but they didn’t so I just kept going.”

    With the gazebo still soaring majestically, Adrian and “Louie” cleared the oxer and the double on the final line, with one fence to go. But the wind hadn’t finished with them yet as a few strides out from the last oxer, the filler blew down. In the last couple of strides, three poles and a wing followed suit, with only the top pole remaining in place, but turning not a hair, the pair cleared it in fine style, to huge cheers from the crowd.

    “It was a bit bizarre,” Adrian said. “It was a beautiful day and Charlotte who was videoing from the gate wondered what was going on as there was no wind there but it took lots of jumps out behind me, although I didn’t hear anything. But of all the timings! Nothing before, nothing after, just then.”

    Adrian said he felt the wind strengthening as he approached the last fence, adding: “The funky chicken came out! Elbows and everything. Some of it blew down a few strides out, but I kept going. He picked up and it felt like jumping a canal, it was so wide.”

    Adrian praised Judith Whitham’s 16-year-old Balou Du Rouet gelding for pulling out all the stops to clear the fence, adding: “He really tried, bless him.

    “We’d had the second fence down but it would have been a great story if we’d won! It didn’t faze him at all. Anything like Shires or scurry carts, he scoots away and would have been on the other side of the ring, but to jump his way out of trouble like that was tremendous; it could have been a disaster.”

    Adrian and Louie finished sixth in the class, which was won by Anthony Condon on SFS Vincomte.

    “Someone said afterwards what was going through my mind and I said ‘I can assure you it wasn’t my mind it was going through!’” added Adrian, who said on social media it was a “how much Vanish do I have at home” moment.

    The pair will now contest the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at the Royal International Horse Show — “But I’ll check the weather forecast first!” Adrian said.

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