Winning the Blue Chip Power qualifier at Quob Stables Equestrian Centre on Wednesday (22 February) was a massive milestone for 22-year-old showjumper Jasmine Punter.
In January last year, the Wiltshire rider broke her pelvis, both hips and coccyx “in numerous places” in a terrifying fall while hacking her 16.3hh mare NP Zelah.
“It was just a freak accident,” Jasmine told H&H. “I was riding ‘Zizi’ on the road back home and she spooked at something on the verge and just slipped on the camber of the road, coming down and pinning me underneath her.”
With Jasmine’s mum at work and nobody else around, she phoned a neighbour who called an ambulance and rushed to help the stricken rider.
“Zizi had run off down the road but luckily was OK and somebody managed to catch her,” said Jasmine. “At first I didn’t know how bad I was injured but I couldn’t move — everything just felt numb and that was terrifying. Then suddenly the pain set in.”
Jasmine was bed-bound in hospital for a week before she was able to start physiotherapy to help her walk again.
“As soon as I could, I was hobbling around on my crutches for the next six weeks or so,” she said. “When they told me I couldn’t get back on a horse for the next six months I was so upset, but looking back now I realise just how very lucky I was. I had some X-rays after five and a half months and was given the all-clear.”
After her win this week, Jasmine, who works as an events photographer, is now looking forward to riding nine-year-old NP Zelah at the Blue Chip Championships at Hartpury in April.
“I only planned to jump for a clear but she was going so well that I just put a bit of leg on and we won by about 0.8sec — I was very surprised when I looked up and saw the clock,” she said.
“She was really green when I got her and it’s really only been in the last few shows that we’ve gone against the clock — now her ears are pricked and she’s taking me into all the fences. She had only been backed as a seven-year-old so was a very late starter and hadn’t been in the ring before I got her.
“With patience and ring experience under her belt, she is now really showing her true class and has also qualified for the discovery and newcomers second rounds.
The daughter of El-Thuder was bred by New Priory Stud and Jasmine formed a syndicate in order to be able to buy the then seven-year-old, who she’d spotted in a Facebook video.
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“I’d never thought of forming a syndicate but my former BS area rep Roy Freeman suggested it and it’s working very well — it makes it more affordable for all of us,” she said.
“It’s been a real rollercoaster journey for us, but is finally paying off!”