It was a case of going, going, gone for Harry Gaunt at last month’s British Show Pony Society (BSPS) Summer Championships (25-29 August), when excitability got the better of his working hunter pony, Rob (pictured top at HOYS last year), during a parade of competitors.
Harry managed to sit Rob’s bucking bronco impression across the full length of the ring, but was jettisoned when the grey slammed on the brakes in front of the indoor arena’s perimeter fence. Harry landed on his feet in the spectator seating area. Both he and Rob were unhurt.
Harry’s friend, Callum Barnes, caught the action on camera.
Harry and Rob were members of the Welsh Preseli team in the international working hunter pony competition.
“I’m fine, just a bit of bruising here and there,” said 21-year-old Harry, who hails from Bicester, Oxfordshire.
“It was very out of character for Rob, who has been described as the perfect gentleman before.”
The normally placid pony became increasingly agitated by spectators clapping and cheering during a competitors’ parade.
Rob walked beside his teammates to the far end of the arena but, after turning back towards the way he had come, started to bounce on the spot. He then lurched forward, bucking and gaining speed as he took off across the arena.
Harry’s secure seat enabled him to hang on all the way to the end, until Rob slammed on the brakes.
“Our team ended up doing well, finishing sixth and winning the overall dressage — Rob did his test about 45 minutes after the incident,” added Harry, whose time at Lincolnshire’s Arena UK did improve.
“We ended up having a very good week. Rob jumped clear in the international workers and finished fifth. He also went clear in the champion of champions contest and came second.”
Don’t miss the full BSPS Championship report in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound, on sale 10 September.