Olympic horse bolts after bridle accidentally removed at tack check

  • As this picture sequence shows, Aachen’s major international show turned into a hellish nightmare for one rider. Her horse’s bridle was accidentally removed during the post-test tack check and he bolted around the show ground, injuring himself.

    The Swedish combination of Juliette Ramel and Buriel KH had finished their grand prix test and were having their tack checked by an FEI steward when the accident took place.

    All is calm as the FEI tack check starts for Juliette Ramel and Buriel KH. Image © Kim Lundin

    The horse was wearing a fly veil which, when removed by Juliette’s groom, caused the entire headpiece of the bridle to come off over the surprised horse’s ears as the noseband was already undone to allow the FEI steward to check his bits.

    The moment when things start to unravel. Image © Kim Lundin

    Juliette immediately realised there was a problem, and jumped off to try to restrain the 11-year-old by Osmium out of a Krack C mare.

    Juliette dismounts as soon as she spots the problem. Image © Kim Lundin

    The Swedish support team were on hand to try and stop him.

    The Swedish support team rally round to try to stop Buriel. Image © Kim Lundin

    But the KWPN gelding, who represented Sweden at the Rio Olympics last year, took fright and bolted. The team were unable to hold him, and he fled with the bridle flapping alarmingly round his chest and legs.

    Buriel bolts across the Aachen showground with his bridle hanging perilously. Image © Kim Lundin

    Buriel KH sustained injuries while he was loose. Image © Kim Lundin

    It was adding insult to injury for the rider, who had just ridden a problematic test in the Nations Cup grand prix — far below the pair’s usual impressive form. Juliette had even made an error of course.

    As a result of his escapade, Buriel is stiff and has some scrapes. Juliette has not released specific details of Buriel’s injuries, simply stating that “the plan going forward depends entirely on how Buriel KH is feeling”.

    We wish him a speedy recovery.

    For a full report from all the sport action at Aachen, pick up a copy of Horse & Hound magazine — out on 27 July.

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