Friday, Jun. 28, 2024

Your Funniest Horse Show Moments



This article appears in our annual Readers’ Choice issue, out now. As we do every year, we are offering the digital version free of charge to our online readers and followers. Click here to read the full issue.

Sometimes it takes a while before your most embarrassing moments become laughable. Luckily our Readers’ Choice respondents were willing to wait it out until they weren’t afraid to share some snippets. Enjoy their stories.

• Calling someone off course when looking at the wrong course chart.

• Arguing with the judge about which test I was supposed to ride. I was wrong.

• Entering the show jumping ring before the rider before me finished. I had missed the last fence on my course walk.

Sure, the idea is to keep the metal side down and your backside in the saddle when you enter the show ring, but things don’t always work out that way. Mollie Bailey Photo

• Got stuck in a port-o-john, and I needed help to get out.

• Having the picture of me getting tossed posted in the photo book of sample pictures. I bought it and got a well-deserved discount. It still hangs in my parents’ house to this day.

• Going down centerline to finish and finding my back to the judges.


• Getting 72 time faults because my glasses fell off.

• Horse would not load in the trailer to go home.

• I arrived a week early.

• I fell off in the line-up because my horse shook so hard.

• Falling down in my in-hand class.

• Taking down an entire row of warm-up jumps because they were all connected, and I chocolate chipped.

• Teaching 4-H kids some new curse words after my second involuntary dismount of the day off the same horse.

• Falling off in the ring and having my picture in the paper.


• I put my Vogel boots on the wrong feet, and there were no zippers back then. They were stuck with sweat.

Thirty minutes later, and with four grooms and one trainer pulling, they came off. Did I say I was extraordinarily hungover?

• My pants split, and I was wearing a thong. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

• While riding a fourth level test, I didn’t hear my caller and did an extended canter across the diagonal instead of three four-tempi changes. The judge never blew me off course. I got tickled and giggled for the rest of the test. When I came out my trainer shook his head and said, “Just what I need, a deaf rider and a blind judge!” We all cracked up.

• Losing my horse’s fake tail in the derby.

This article originally appeared in the June 2024 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse. You can subscribe and get online access to a digital version and then enjoy a year of The Chronicle of the Horse. If you’re just following COTH online, you’re missing so much great unique content. Each print issue of the Chronicle is full of in-depth competition news, fascinating features, probing looks at issues within the sports of hunter/jumper, eventing and dressage, and stunning photography.



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