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Young rider jumps clear cross-country after stirrup breaks early on course

A young rider whose stirrup leather snapped across country went on to jump clear — and was happier with her last-place finish than she had ever been at an event before.

Rosezena White jumped 15 of the 20 obstacles in the BE80(T) regional final at Skipton last Saturday (8 August) with just her right stirrup, as her left leather had broken on the approach to fence five.

Mum Jayne told H&H Rosezena, 15, and her 13.2hh mare Highlake Lake had scored a 29.8 dressage and jumped clear in the showjumping before they left the start box.

“I saw her jump the first four fences before she went out of sight, then my husband, who was further down the course, rang me to say she was circling,” Jayne said. “I thought she must have been held on the course, then he said she’d set off again.

“She was gone a while, then I saw her clear the last two. She looked a bit leaning to one side and I thought ‘I’m going to tell her off, she’s riding abominably!’

“As she got nearer, I could see she was smiling, then I realised she only had one stirrup.”

Rosezena told H&H “Ghost” was jumping well, then as she swung right-handed towards fence five, a combination, Rosezena felt something was wrong.

“I could feel my left leg getting longer and longer,” she said. “I stopped, looked down, and realised my stirrup had gone; the leather had snapped.

“I didn’t want to stop when she was jumping so well, and she’s never had a cross-country fault, so I asked the fence judge if I could carry on.”

Permission was granted, and Rosezena and Ghost carried on with just one pedal.

“Towards the end, I got tired, but I just wanted to be home safe with her,” Rosezena said.

“It was really nice; everyone was cheering me through the water, and at every fence, one of the fence judges was cheering me on. That helped keep me going, and when it was getting harder near the end, because my muscles were hurting, it gave me motivation. It felt so good to go through the finish.”

The pair’s halt meant they clocked up 84.4 time-penalties, but Rosezena was delighted with the clear.

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“I’m so glad I did it,” she said. “I didn’t want to quit, and even though I came last, that’s probably the happiest I’ve been at a competition. It didn’t matter where I’d come, it was about me and my pony getting home safe.

“She’s amazing; I do working hunters on her too, but she enjoys cross-country the most and she looked after me the whole way round.”

Jayne added that the pair of them had both cleaned the tack before the event and neither had noticed the stirrup’s weakness.

“At least I the groom didn’t get told off as we both did it!” she said. “She did really well.”

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