Jun 26, 2013 - 11:48 AM
Photo by Findlay Davidson

“There was an unusual cartoon occurrence in the power and speed [class] when Hendrik Snoek’s Asterix was bellied on this spread fence,” read the original caption for this photo when it ran in the April 29, 1977, issue of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Snoek, who had been the reserve rider on West Germany’s Olympic show jumping team at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, told reporters he’d simply forgotten the jump was a spread fence and had only aimed to clear the wall. Eventually he and the ring crew were able to free Astrix, who was unhurt and went on to place third in a class on the following night.

Bizarrely, less than a month after this photo was taken at the Geneva CSIO in October of 1976, Snoek was kidnapped from his apartment in Muenster, Germany. The 28-year-old rider, who also happened to be heir to a supermarket chain fortune, was reportedly hidden under a highway bridge for several days until his family eventually paid more than $2 million in ransom money.

Snoek went on to continue his winning ways in show jumping through the 1980s and eventually embarked on a successful business career. 

Category: Parting Ways

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