Spectacular hunting photo goes viral, but is it real?

  • This photograph of Ben Hitchcott departing in spectacular style from his ride while out with the Mid-Surrey Farmers’ Draghounds went viral when it was put online on Sunday (25 January). But is it real or has it been edited?

    The picture was posted on the Countryside Alliance’s Facebook page and was shared nearly 8,000 times. It also generated more than 1,600 responses with speculation over whether the picture had been photoshopped or not.

    The photographer Ginni Beard, who works across the South-East, has been taken back by the reaction to the picture.

    “I am sorry to say it was just a joke photo,” she told H&H. “I had no idea that it would be shared by anyone except Ben.

    “He had fallen off his horse, but wanted to be in the same picture as his horse — who had ignored the loss of his rider and continued to follow his mates without batting an eye.

    “Ben came running up and jumped off the top of the rails shouting ‘Get one of me jumping; never mind about the horse!’

    “I thought it would be fun to put them in the same shot to cheer him up.”

    Ben is a former National Hunt jockey and rode more than 100 winners. In 2006 he switched careers and began training as a farrier. He is now fully qualified and works across Kent and the South East.

    Although the majority of people suspected that the picture had been photoshopped, many thought so for the wrong reasons.

    “The rider would not be in that position in the shot if it were real,” said one Facebook user.

    “Photoshop! He’s in the jump position,” added another.

    Some fans of the picture have now photoshopped it further.

    “I notice in the latest version he is riding on a broomstick,” Ginni added. “Not guilty here!”

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