There are times when as a rider — or a photographer — it’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and doing the right thing.
An unscheduled ground inspection by a rider at the East Essex hunt’s ladies’ day meet yesterday (24 January) was just one of those times.
Jaymee McCauley saw that her friend Rachael Runnacles and her horse Misty had parted ways at a fence, so she and her ride Lockdown went to the rescue. And photographer Melody Fisher was on hand to capture the moment.
“It was a great day,” Jaymee told H&H, adding that a group of riders from the Essex Farmers and Union hunt were out together for ladies’ day.
“Unfortunately, someone had cut across my friend as she went to jump the fence; the horse decided to evade it and poor Rachael hit the post, so I went over the jump but she was on the floor. So I thought ‘Oh dear, better try to catch the pony’!”
Rachael said Lockdown was equal to the challenge.
“I work for one of the masters of the Union — it’s a great job, I love it,” she said. “She bought the horse during lockdown, which is why he’s called Lockdown, and he and I get on like a house on fire. I absolutely love trying to help people and will always try to catch [loose ones] if I can so the horses are used to it, and he’s great; he just knows.
“It was a great day, with lots of laughs and jumping; all you want really.”
Jaymee added that Misty is fine, and Rachael “is a bit lame but can have some bute and will be fine in a couple of days”.
Photographer Melody told H&H she was focusing on snapping the horses jumping the fence in question when Rachael fell.
“I saw Jaymee and her horse coming along and making that amazing catch,” she said. “Everyone was cheering for her because it was just brilliant, and for me, it really was just right place, right time. I think I knew I’d got it as soon as I took the picture.”
Melody added that she included the picture in a selection she shared on Facebook, to huge reaction.
“I think I sell more falling-off or almost-fall pictures than the nice ones!” she said.
You might also be interested in:
The rider praised his ‘very honest’ horse after the save, the video of which has been viewed more than 230,000
The owner of a building company took an 18hh Shire out, and described his day's hunting as an 'amazing experience'
Take a look at this remarkable video
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.