Disaster avoided after eventer’s bridle slips on cross-country

  • An advanced event horse proved his skill and honesty after jumping clear through a three-star water complex despite his bridle slipping and his ear covers dropping down in front of his eyes.

    Man Hunt, ridden by Richard Skelt, suffered a “tack mishap” as he came into the first water at Hartpury CIC3* on 15 August.

    “I jumped the fence before the water and I noticed the bridle had moved forward a little bit,” Richard told H&H.

    “As I was galloping along, I reached forward and pulled it back into place.”

    However, unbeknown to Richard, who was focusing on the fence, Man Hunt’s bridle slipped again and pushed his ear covers over his eyes.

    The 11-year-old gelding carried on and jumped cleanly through the one-strided double, despite the ear covers interfering with his vision.

    Credit: Helen Revington and Stephen Sparke

    Credit: Helen Revington and Stephen Sparke

    As he went to gallop away from the water complex, Richard realised what had happened.

    “I pulled up straight after the water and took the ears off,” he told H&H.

    The pair carried on, but later on the course the bridle slipped again and Richard decided to retire.

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    It was only when he saw the photos and watched it back on video that the rider could see what had happened.

    “He jumped it like he could see, I am amazed that he actually did it,” he said.

    “It felt like a good jump – It is not like he scrambled over it.”

    He added the bridle had not slipped before.

    Man Hunt, by Bonnie Prince, is owned by Una Roe and is in his fifth season of competition with Richard, who is based at Norman Cross near Peterborough.

    The pair jumped clear across country at Tattersalls CCI3* and Belton CIC3* earlier this year and were hoping to secure their Burghley qualification at Hartpury.

    They are now re-routing to Blenheim — with a new bridle.

    Richard added they will also tie the bridle to a plait in future to ensure it does not happen again.

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