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What's the scariest thing you've ever seen at a show?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by La Gringa View Post
    I once was at a Horse Show where a kids horse that had been drugged by the trainer, freaked out went beserk, bucked the kid off, jumped out of the ring and ran up the grandstands, stepped in a baby carriage (fortunately the baby was removed right before) it then stepped on several spectators, and then ran around the fairgrounds like a lunatic crashing into everything in it's path. Everyone was running around screaming. The announcer at the show got on the PA system "stay calm, stay calm" as people were panicing. It was like a very bad horror film. Imagine a thoroughbred horse, a 1200 pound animal on PCP. He crashed into a security gate and fell on the guard, killing him. This is a true story. They put the horse down on the spot after the incident.

    Ventura, CA 1982. Bad day at the show. It had a bad reaction to the dope they gave it.. a sedative. The kid that was riding it, was trying it out to buy it. Not a good day. The trainer drugged the horse to "make it calm for the kid." Big mistake, it ended up killing someone.

    I was like 13 at the time. I ran into a stall and hid. It was very scary.

    Was anybody else at this show? It was so scary. The horse ran down the beach, came back and wreaked more havoc before it was all over. I think the trainer was brought up on charges afterwards. The kid was riding it as a trial. Obviously it went very badly.

    I will never forget that day in Ventura. It was in June or July of 82. Ventura Horse Show.
    crazy- i live near there- that show has always been nutters. never have gone tho- nuthing for me.

    even scarier- go to the eti nationals in burbank- every year i take the little ones to get miles- its the scariest place i have ever ever been. this year a girl got bucked off and kicked in the teeth about 20 feet from me- no helmet- western rider- had to be taken out on the stetcher.
    not to mention the general freaky-ness of the jumper ring that goes down. no scratch that- of any over fence class, or rail class. in fact just walking on your two feet is hazardous.
    "If you were doing it wrong I would say something..."


    • #22
      The saddest thing I've ever seen was a horse who dropped dead of an aneurysm in the ring.

      The scariest thing is most any jumper class under 3'.

      Anyone notice how many of these scary encounters happened at schooling/local shows?


      • #23
        Kid tied a horse to a sliding stall door. Horse pulled back and pulled the door with him. Proceeded to run all over the show grounds dragging the thing. Fortunately it was early AM at a one day show so not a lot of people around. Vet came and stitched for a long time. Local HJ show in L.A. area. Late 1980's.

        Stallion who was such a bad actor that his owner elected to trailer him back and forth rather than stabling on the grounds. Unloading horse on the last day he got loose and ran all over the stabling area dangling a chain. He mounted a few horses (mares, geldings, he didn't care) and acquired a small band of horses who ran around with him. Finally corralled him in a stall. Vet stitched for a long time on that one too. Passers by made suggestions about something else he could fix. Event at Showpark about 1990. Same stallion mounted a horse being ridden in the warmup ring at a dressage show a month or so later.
        The Evil Chem Prof


        • #24
          wow, better be a fan-freaking-tastic stallion! what a train wreck. scary.
          "If you were doing it wrong I would say something..."


          • #25
            ah the schooling show, place of all things that should never be, soon will not be, and that miraculously continue to happen... for about 8 fences to one 1 round... still always an entertaining day. for better or worse
            "If you were doing it wrong I would say something..."


            • #26
              Not a show, but I'd venture a team roping still counts...I was watching my husband...

              In 1999 in Seguin, Texas, lady shows up to see her husband about something. I don't know what was, or had been going on, but an argument was part of it. A few moments later she pulls a handgun out and shoots herself in the head. Roping was halted, helicopter flies in, husband, who is understandably beside himself, is questioned on site, released & driven by a friend to hospital where lady was flown. She did end up dying later that night. The roping took place, but it was crappy. Good thing was all monies were donated to husband to pay for the medical stuff and his counseling.

              I wasn't at this one, but friends of ours were: Last summer (I think July or August), at another team roping, local vet's horse slipped and fell. Rolled over her and killed her. Horse was fine physically, but refused to be led from hisowner's body. Very bad thing was vet's husband and child witnessed the whole thing. They've kept the horse, though, and know it wasn't his fault, just a horrible accident. He has a home for the rest of his days.

              Have horse show stories, but nothing as bad as what's already been told, and not as scary as the ropings (well, maybe the local and lower jumper divisions...)
              "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


              • #27
                I recall a schooling show in Washington metro area, Md. or va., but, think it was Maryland; someone had tied their horse by the reins to the top board of a four board fence; Horse pulled back, panicked, and pulled the entire board out, nails still poking out o of it; panicked he tried to run away from the board, which, of course, kept
                '"following him " so panicked horse raced around show grounds/parking area with fence rail, and nails sticking out ; I don't remember how it finally ended; but,do recall being very grateful to my mentor who had taught me early on ,not only not to tie by the reins,,by also, never to a board; the story from Ventura is terrifying; that trainer should have been punished in some way; Who was killed; did their estate sue??
                breeder of Mercury!

                remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                • #28
                  It's so sad that so many of these stories are caused by people tying horses to unsuitable things... Over here it's absolutely standard practice to have loops of string attached to every tie ring, so that you tie the horse's lead rope to the string and not directly to the tie ring - that way if the horse pulls back , the string breaks rather than the horse's neck. Do you guys not do that over there?

                  Scariest thing I've seen, hmmm... I saw the immediate aftermath of a very nasty accident in a working hunter class at a show I was stewarding at. A girl was approaching a jump when the pony spooked at something and jigged sideways - she came off the side but landed on her feet. She obviously landed awkwardly because her right leg snapped just above the ankle at a horrid angle leaving the leg bone sticking out of the bottom. The sound of the break was audible, and I've never heard screams like it. Luckily we have St John's Ambulance attending all our shows/events so she was in the back of an ambulance within 5 Minutes - I still remember her screaming as they drove away. It really shook everyone up. She's back riding and showing again now though - brave soul.

                  I didn't witness it but I know a local trainer who was pinned to the ground (horse's front feet on her back) by a stallion in an in hand class - very frightening for all involved.

                  I'm fairly sure I've heard reports of a shire horse (?) exiting the ring at speed at a county show and killing someone in the crowd but I can;t rememeber the exact details so not sure how true that is.


                  • #29
                    Actually, I think the scariest thing I've ever seen was in 1986, during the Children's Classic at the Wayne-DuPage Hunt Show. I realized I was off course when I saw a big, solid oxer coming right at me...the wrong way. Which we then jumped...

                    Seriously, though, I haven't seen too many horrible things. However, earlier that year at some other Zone V show one of my barn's young sales horses- a truly ginormous Oldenburg- reached up and somehow (he must have been standing on his tip toes) grabbed the electrical wires above his stall (we were in the temporary stalls under a big tent) and electrocuted himself. It was awful awful awful. I didn't see that but I did see him afterwards. Poor stupid baby horse.
                    You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil


                    • #30
                      About 2 years ago I took a few small kids to a local schooling show for some practice...they have a bunch of jumper classes there and a lot of people come just to school over a jumper course. This kid (who is a great rider) shows up with his half a**ed brother to do some jumpers. the kids horse has a heart of gold tons of scope and just a great little mare...they pulled in with this POS stock trailer rusted out etc and parked right next to my rig and tied the horses up on the outside of the trailer (something I DO NOT ALLOW EVER) - anyway they were all fine...then next thing I knew, there was crashing, banging, thrashing...i look over and the kids mare is FREAKING out...I started to walk over to her to try to calm her as there was NO way she was breaking loose....when I got there she had stopped but I noticed her head was almost "stuck" straight up - when i got to the other side of her a piece of metal that was sticking straight out and UP towards the roof had punctured her left cheek almost upt to her eye socket....I screamed to one of my kids moms to get the BO and to call a vet immediatly - the owners came walking over about 15 minutes later, by that time I had already gotten the mare off of the trailer - literally - and started cleaning up her wound with med. supplies I ALWAYS carry - she had muscles coming out of the hole on her face was shaking in pain but stood there and let me clean it up - she really needed to have a tetnus shot and needed a vet to look at her asap - what did the owners do...TOOK A PAIR OF SCISSORS AND CUT THE MUSCLE OFF THEN PROCEEDED TO LOAD HER UP TO TAKE HER HOME...i started screaming at them to cover up the wound as she was going in a stock trailer at least give the poor animal banamine (which they didn't have so I gave her some of mine) and I put gauze and tape over the wound to help keep it clean for the breezy ride home - and said she needs a vet - they said, oh no dad will sew it back up when we get home....ARE YOU KIDDING ME? it was Horrible...
                      Another time when I was a little kid I think about 8 or 9 I was watching the big eq go at a show in the town I grew up at - there was this STUNNING big grey horse in the ring, he was amazing, so was the rider...I remember them coming into a 2 stride then jumped out with a 5 stride...the horse came in to the first jump fine, tripped a bit over number two and seemed off balance to number three, I was sitting RIGHT NEXT to number 3 - on the ground right outside the ring...I remeber seeing the girls face, she knew something was wrong...I remember the horse making this HORRIBLE grunt sound right be fore he tried to take off, he pushed off from behind but his front legs never really left the ground, he crashed through the jump, flipped over and landed on top of the girl, they both died instantly.....I was in shock - I remember people screaming and running by me - it was horrible


                      • #31

                        I did not witness this but my friend told me about it. She was judging an open horse show and there was a girl holding an Irish Draught for someone. Something scared him and he whipped around and started bucking. He hit the girl right in the face! My friend said it sounded like a cinder block hitting the pavement. The poor girl was rushed to the hospital and had lots of surgery to reconstruct the bones in her face, but they couldn't save her eye.


                        • #32
                          An unfortunate event that happened at a local show a couple years ago. An inexperienced mom was giving her daughter a leg up. The mom must have overshot because the girl landed behind the saddle. This spooked the horse and he proceeded to take off. Of course the girl fell off...her foot caught in the stirrup and her head continued to slam against the ground until her foot finally fell out of the stirrup. The worst part is, she hadn't fastened the chinstrap on her helmet yet...she died a couple days later after being in a coma.

                          I was at that show- it was very scary, ambulances came roaring onto the show grounds, the announcer came over the PA system and told everyone to dismount until the ambulances left.

                          Now any time I can't find a mounting block at a show and my (non horsey) dad offers to give me a boost I politely turn him down and tell him I'll wait for my trainer- leg ups can be deadly if given by an inexperienced person
                          Willow- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1125720084


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Ophelia123 View Post
                            Another time when I was a little kid I think about 8 or 9 I was watching the big eq go at a show in the town I grew up at - there was this STUNNING big grey horse in the ring, he was amazing, so was the rider...I remember them coming into a 2 stride then jumped out with a 5 stride...the horse came in to the first jump fine, tripped a bit over number two and seemed off balance to number three, I was sitting RIGHT NEXT to number 3 - on the ground right outside the ring...I remeber seeing the girls face, she knew something was wrong...I remember the horse making this HORRIBLE grunt sound right be fore he tried to take off, he pushed off from behind but his front legs never really left the ground, he crashed through the jump, flipped over and landed on top of the girl, they both died instantly.....I was in shock - I remember people screaming and running by me - it was horrible
                            OMG if I saw that when I was 8, I am not sure I'd ever get on a horse again. How terrifying!


                            • #34
                              it was terrible - I don't think I really knew what was going on, but I remember being scared to SHOW, but not to ride or jump - I was in Short Stirrup back then - I think I thought it happened because she was showing....I'll never forget the sound the horse made, he TRIED to make it over the jump - and the look on her face. For whatever reason, after a little bit I was fine and had no fear and have been riding ever since - 10 years after the fact...but I will never forget it and it is a large part of why i enforce safety to all of my students and tell them this is a very dangerous sport and anything can happen. I would rather you pull up, circle or whatever you have to do to get over the fence safely then to risk your life or your horses life.


                              • #35
                                I've seen a horse have an aneurysm, but she was in harness. It's awful, they just die instantly. But, I will say, at least it's not a long, painful death. It's quick.

                                The worst accidents I've seen have been with harness horses. Not that I haven't seen terrifying ones otherwise (although, I don't think I've witnessed as terrible as some of the other members!), but wagons and carts have so much wood and bulk to break, puncture, etc. And hitch wagons? That's a long way to fall.

                                I've seen wagons fall over, horses take off, one horse in a team/hitch fall, all terrifying. I did see 2 ponies take off, break away from the wagon with their first thrust, pull the driver off, and leave the other passengers to topple out of the wagon. They ran off, damaging vehicles and property. Pretty darn scary. Both ponies were fine, but only because they were lucky.


                                • #36
                                  I was at an AQHA show in CT, mid 1990's watching a pleasure driving class. One of the horses spooked, started galloping and bucking, heading right towards the end of the arena where the out gate was. There was a whole crowd of people standing there watching the class. The horse leapt over the fence, cart following behind. A quick thinking trainer grabbed the lady out of the cart as it crested the fence. Thankfully, no one was injured, but the horse was never driven again.

                                  Another incident was at the Farmington Polo Grounds, CT in the 1980's where a girl was warming up over a practice fence outside the show ring. The horse landed badly, hitting its nose on the ground, instantly breaking C1 vertebrae (think C. Reeves), and was paralyzed. The girl was ok, and ran away crying. They pulled the saddle off the horse, and a vet arrived to euthanize. It was horrible.


                                  • #37
                                    the worst I have seen

                                    July 1992 - Wayne event - Lamplight facility

                                    Cross-country is held across the street from Lamplight in the forest preserve. The local police as well as volunteers do help with traffic & crossings (Dunham Road is very busy with trucks & at the time had a speed limit of 50 MPH) of horses & people.

                                    Horse #1 is on course & loses it rider. It starts to run thru the fields & back towards the starting area & down the path eventually back towards the barns unable to be caught. Horse #2 had already completed it's course & was being hand walked on the path back to the cross Dunham Road & back to the barns. Horse #2 gets excited with Horse #1 & gets loose also. Now both horses are galloping down the path that leads to Dunham Road where they "popped" out & on to the Dunham Road past the police/volunteers doing traffic--Horse #2 gets a direct hit by a big truck (like a giant cement mixer/hauler type) & Horse #1 gets glanced off. I believe Horse #2 was put down right up by the road cause I remember them hauling it back past the back barns (where Tent City is now) with a tractor on a skid & people sitting on it with a tarp. Horse #1 is caught & taken back to the barns where the vets worked for hours trying to stitch & repair. I don't know whatever came of that horse.

                                    It was extremely devastating for everybody there. The event organizers have gone to great lengths since to learn from this terrible experience & try to make it as safe as they can. Horses now enter the forest preserve on 1 path & return to the barn on another path so there is more than just 1 in & out. And Dunham Road's speed limit has since been dropped to 45 MPH (maybe it's 40?) which the Wayne Police are VERY tough on enforcing year round (heads up visitors to Lamplight).
                                    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


                                    • #38
                                      ...please stop with the scary/sad stories, i can't take it! yet somehow can't stop reading!


                                      • #39
                                        Someone walking a dog with a Flexi-Leash and the dog whipping behind a horse with that damn line zipping at the back of its legs. I literally watched my life pass before me and I wasn't even the one in danger.

                                        Thankfully, the idiots that owned the dog managed to reel it in and the horse was a saint. But if that wasn't an accident waiting to happen, I don't know what is.

                                        "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me


                                        • #40
                                          Virginia Horse Center, late 90s... watched with open mouth as a loose horse came charging straight down the side of the big hill dragging a longe line. He ran through a busy schooling area, whipped around the corner of the covered arena and blasted back through the barns before someone caught him. It was simply amazing no one and nothing become entangled in that line.

                                          Also at Lexington, late 90s... saw a woman standing by the starters booth at the main hunter ring get kicked in the back (both barrels at close range) by another horse in the waiting crowd. The impact lifted her into the air and smashed her face first into the side of the booth and she hit the ground out and not breathing. One of my customers is an anesthesiologist and was in the ring doing a flat class. I was yelling for her when the lady was in the air and she was able to get her breathing again. They flew her out with multiple fractures.

                                          Indiana State Fairgrounds, last April... watching high school rodeo team roping. The header made a late catch as the steer cut across in front of his horse, who propped for a moment. The guy flew off and landed across the rope, which pulled the steer back around behind the horse. Then the steer kept going around and around until the horse and steer were bound together head-to-tail and spinning counterclockwise. By this time, there are about 30 guys hanging off of every available place to grab on the horse, the tack, the steer, the rope... they finally weigh the two down enough to stop the spinning and someone with a knife cuts them loose. Even from high in the stands it was obvious the horse was seriously rope-burned, poor guy. I still can't believe he didn't panic and managed to stay on his feet through the whole mess. Once they got him unwrapped, he gimped out of the arena just as obedient as could be.

                                          Upperville, mid 90s... schooling a customer before the low juniors and we were sharing a fence with another rider. She came in long and the horse didn't make it across a tall oxer. He caught the back rail between his front legs and landed on his face, with the rider on his neck and the top of her head also in the sand... they skidded about 20 feet like that before he flipped over and sideways, rolling over her in the process. They both looked dead. The horse got up in a moment, but the rider was out and they took her away in an ambulance (and I believe in a helicopter).

                                          To lighten it up a little... my own worst moment was realizing I was about to be kicked in the face by one of my geldings who was darting away from me into the field after a bath. I saw the heels coming and raised my arm in defense - when he connected, I punched myself in the face and knocked myself out! Fortunately, no broken bones or teeth.
                                          Patience pays.