Rider’s incredible save caught on camera: ‘I was determined not to fall off!’

  • The save of the day – or the season – award has to go to Chloe Pearson, who survived this decidedly dicey moment, at Farley Hall last week (23-25 June).

    Chloe not only managed to keep Jonathan Blue between herself and the ground, the pair went on to jump clear in the intermediate – and finish fourth.

    “It was only fence five, so there was a long way to go!” Chloe told H&H.

    Chloe bought Dutch-bred “JB” as a four-year-old, then sold him to Lottie Brewster, but kept the ride. She has spent years building his confidence – which stood them in good stead when things went slightly off-course.

    “He was very, very keen and set off a bit like a steam train,” Chloe said. “I didn’t have much say, and we got to it on a bit of a neither here nor there. I thought he’d stand off but he chipped in, and thankfully, he went as I’d have been a goner otherwise!”

    Matt Nuttall Photography caught the whole sequence, which shows Chloe being thrown forward on take-off, and forward again and to one side on landing, but somehow managing to get back into the saddle and gallop on.

    “It was probably all of about two seconds but it felt like for ever,” she said. “I was just thinking ‘I’ve got to stay on’; I’d fallen off my own horse the day before and I thought ‘I’m not blinking falling off twice’, I was determined not to come off again. But as he took off, I thought ‘This is going to be interesting’!”

    Chloe paid tribute to JB, who kept his head up and kept going straight.

    “It took me a moment to regroup, then he was fine and off we went,” she said. “We had a lovely rest of the round and came fourth so it was a good job I stuck it out. I was very chuffed with him.”

    Chloe added that while in mid-air, she could hear the photographer snapping away and hoped that he had got the full sequence on camera, as proved to be the case.

    “I came back and said to his owner ‘You won’t believe what happened’, and I don’t think she did till I showed her the pictures,” she said.

    “He’s such a good boy; if he’d stopped or put his head down, or swerved, I’d have been a goner, but he just stayed dead straight as if he was saying ‘Are you on yet?’ He’s a fab jumper, who gives you an amazing feeling over a fence; he’s a diamond.”

    Chloe said she hopes her video might “inspire people to cling on”, and that JB’s next outing will be his first three-star, at Aston next month.

    “I’ve always thought he’ll be the horse I take to the top level,” she said. “I’m so grateful to his owners for keeping him with me as he’s such a lovely boy.”

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