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

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  • Seen a couple of tragic things...saw a polo pony careen into another one and completely separate his shoulder from his body. I have heard a horse shriek in pain and I will, never, ever forget it and I hope I never, ever have to hear that again. Would that somehow I could prevent every single one of them from ever getting that hurt. Or even hurt at all. Also saw a horse and rider die jumping the wall in puissance. They just flipped over the top somehow. The rider was killed instantly (from what I could tell) but the horse suffered and had to be put down. I was catch riding a horse that day, the best horse I ever rode, but something like that will shake you up, especially if you're very young. I wasn't worried about myself, I had the ethical right to risk my OWN neck, what hung me up was - on what authority did I place such a fine trusting animal in harm's way? A horse can stumble and break a leg over 3', or for crap's sake, just cavort wrong in a meadow - but no matter how you rationalize you've got to admit, the odds get a lot worse when the fences start getting stratospheric. So that brought me right back to - not was I scared to go, but who made me god? Just because I COULD roll the dice for an innocent creature, did that mean I SHOULD? You can know sh!T happens to horses (the rider, I felt, was there by his own sentient choice) but until you really have to face it down, and then take those reins and point your good Ned's head at that bastard wall, it's just not real before. So I guess that's the scariest thing I've seen at a show - it was a big fat wall that had killed somebody. And my good boy got me over it.
    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

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    • Original Poster

      I would have to say now, although I wasn't there personally, the videos of Darren's fall at Red Hills and then Laine's fall at Rolex are two of the scariest things I have seen even on video at a show/event.

      Very scary.
      One of a Kind Studio
      Fine Art Paintings, Horses, Dogs, Wildlife and anything else that inspires.

      New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.

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      • Evergreen Classic early 90s

        These are all truly horrific.

        The worst I ever saw was at the Evergreen Classic in either the very late 80s/early 90s. The show was still at Marymoor park. Robert Ridland rode in the Gran Prix, and got in funny to a very large, very airy oxer. The horse hit the back rail first with his front legs, locking the rail down onto the cups, then caught it with his back legs, again locking the rail down onto the cups. What are the chances of that!?!

        Anyway, the horse went down, spasamed a couple of times and was still. I never did hear what happened, but Robert stayed for awhile with the horse (then protected from view by people holding coolers), then walked off the field, clearly dejected. It didn't take much to figure out that the horse had died. It was horrible.
        The truth is always in the middle.

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        • Most Amazing - Milner Downs

          The most amazing thing I ever saw was at Milner Downs in the very early 90s. A trainer was riding in the 3 foot ring through a 2-stride. The horse stumbled on landing off the first fence, flinging the rider. She hit hard and rolled, the momentem rolling her right under the oxer, which the horse proceeded to jump!
          The truth is always in the middle.

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          • Originally posted by taita View Post
            Those of you from Ontario might remember this. A few summers ago at the Collingwood Horse Show there were a bunch of horses in the warm up ring. Two girls going opposite directions ran into each other head on. I'm not exactly sure what the injuries were but at least one girl was hospitalized, and her horse was injured and severely traumatized. I was at the same barn as it the winter after and it had recovered enough to walk around, but it would freak out if it saw another horse coming towards it within 30 feet.

            The worst thing that has happened to me personnally was a few years ago. I was at the provincial championships in the warm up ring. It was really muddy but we weren't too worried, the mare had studs and the footing didn't seem too bad. I guess we were wrong because as she was taking off her back feet slipped and she caught the top rail and went down. She landed on her side on top of my leg but fortunately since it was muddy my leg sunk in the mud and then just slid right out. Neither of us were hurt, just sore, but I've never seen a horse that muddy, caked on head to toe...even her eyelid. Everyone was asking me if I was ok since I looked like I had taken a mud bath, I ended up throwing out the pants because I couldn't get the stains out.
            I actually rmember BOTH of these events as i was there and saw both...

            Im so glad you were ok. Its looked like a nasty fall, but im glad it looked orse then it really was. I remember saying oh my gosh, its going to take a lot to get all that mud out.

            I hope you had a spare pare of jods.
            Courage. Confidence. Passion.

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            • Horse Show Dramas

              Many years ago, my horse was in a horrible trailer wreck. He was in a four horse stock trailer, and he and the horse in front got to nipping back and forth. They got the trailer swinging and jackknifed it and flipped it at 55 mph on the freeway. The other 3 horses got out okay - just really cut up - but he was pinned in the wreckage on his side and trying to kick himself free. They had to cut the top of the trailer off to get him out.

              I still have the newspaper article. The paramedics said they gave him 'enough sedatives to knock the whole city of Everett out'. Amazingly, aside from some really nasty cuts, he was fine. He never hauled very well after that, and he always needed a double stall when shipping from then on.
              The truth is always in the middle.

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              • Stupid self, guardian angel scenario. I had ridden a loooooooooong trail that wound back toward home. Only a mile or so away now. Scraping our way thru a seldom used trail, only to stop at a boggy creek area. No way to cross it, but wait, a bridge! It was close to dark and I really didn't want to retrace our steps. Since the trail showed little use, I questioned the solidity of the wooden bridge. I tied trusty mare and walked cautiously across the bridge. Not very wide, maybe 6 feet, but I didnt think it would hold a horse=small motor bike yes, horse no. Before I could turn all the way around, I was knocked sideways, not stepped on, by my mare. She decided to break her halter/ lead and follow me! She didnt trust the bridge either so she jumped the dang thing, landing nearly in my lap. She was always insecure, must have thought I was tying and leaving her in the scary, darkening woods!

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                • Idk if this is the scariest but I was at HITS ocala and someone riding with Aaron Vale doing like the low adult jumpers came off and their horse took off. In the GP ring there was a truck parked in the corner that was for show I guess idk and I caught the horse and it got stuck between the truck and the ring boarder low fence thing. Because it's a little down hill I couldn't really get the horse out from behind a the truck, but I held it and it stood, frazzled but still. Aaron Vale came stomping up behind it laughing and yelling and the horse jumped and flipped over the fence like 2 inches next to me, got caught in some wire and bolted... It was like watching a dog on a leash run as fast as it could.... It fell over when it got to the end of the wire but it got up and looked alright. I think it actually just galloped off to his farm. Idk who it was but Aaron was laughing and someone was screaming at him and I got to see Aaron Vale get punched in the face

                  I don't know him at all but can't say I really enjoy him after that interaction...
                  Also have seen him jumping like 5' jumps in the schooling ring on his cell phone with his reins in one hand... I mean that's impressive that you can do that but honestly f*** you lol.

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                  • Galway bay stole MY story - about the horse tied to the rail fencing and running amok at the showgrounds with a 12' board flying along with it.... so guess it happens more often than we would think - so it is a PSA - Not to tie a horse to plank rails, just posts.

                    Saw some horrific things at a rodeo, too, but prefer not to discuss the gory ones.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                    • Wow some scary stories and I couldn't even bring myself to read them all...

                      Answering the title of this thread - the scariest thing I have seen at shows (and I did cover my eyes with my hands)

                      Watching the .80 and .90 even the 1.00 meter jumper riders that have no fear blaze around the course, doing Superman flyers over the jumps at warp speed.
                      Last edited by doublesstable; Sep. 12, 2016, 06:53 AM.
                      Live in the sunshine.
                      Swim in the sea.
                      Drink the wild air.

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                      • some of these stories emphasize the reasonwe older folks are so fierce about rules!

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                        • Originally posted by mroades View Post
                          I was actually riding one that died under me. It had uncharacteristically stopped out at a rolltop (horse had 3'6" miles, this was a 2'6" warmup). So I take it out and jump another warmup jump, as my boss (BNT) tells me to "get him over the *&^% rolltop even if it kills him!"
                          I go back in, the rolltop is the first jump, he jumps it, and the following one, then hits the next two , then hits the next one really hard, I start thinking "its time to pull up, something isnt right" Before I can actually make this happen (5 stride line) he canters right throught he second jump of the line! Ok so I have both hands on one rein at this point trying to stop..he wouldn't stop, he wouldn't turn, it was horrifying. He canters right through the end of the ring (thank god it was temporary tape fencing!!!)
                          I finally jump off, and he stops turns around, and drops dead.
                          I was inconsolable, all i could think of was I killed him I killed him!!

                          He had EPM, had been given steroid the night before, and the base of his spine at his neck exploded (as per necropsy)
                          Fun day (NOT) at the PSJ in Lexington, 1995
                          That is awful. :-(

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                          • Originally posted by ItchyRichie View Post
                            Idk if this is the scariest but I was at HITS ocala and someone riding with Aaron Vale doing like the low adult jumpers came off and their horse took off. In the GP ring there was a truck parked in the corner that was for show I guess idk and I caught the horse and it got stuck between the truck and the ring boarder low fence thing. Because it's a little down hill I couldn't really get the horse out from behind a the truck, but I held it and it stood, frazzled but still. Aaron Vale came stomping up behind it laughing and yelling and the horse jumped and flipped over the fence like 2 inches next to me, got caught in some wire and bolted... It was like watching a dog on a leash run as fast as it could.... It fell over when it got to the end of the wire but it got up and looked alright. I think it actually just galloped off to his farm. Idk who it was but Aaron was laughing and someone was screaming at him and I got to see Aaron Vale get punched in the face

                            I don't know him at all but can't say I really enjoy him after that interaction...
                            Also have seen him jumping like 5' jumps in the schooling ring on his cell phone with his reins in one hand... I mean that's impressive that you can do that but honestly f*** you lol.
                            Jumping whilst talking on a phone.....yeah, that would be disappointing to watch.

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                            • A few years ago, I was watching a large pony hunter round, I didn't pay attention to the fence size but it was either at or approaching 3 feet. The pony was really a beautiful, though overzealous, jumper and so every jump its knees were up by its face and its neck was stretched out. Rider jumps and oxer, and then asks the pony to turn in midair since there was a easy rollback. Pony sticks its knee through its martingale, almost flips on the girl but amazingly doesn't, the girl goes flying off. Both were ok, but they both could have broken their necks.
                              That's why I never, ever jump in a standing martingale.

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                              • Common sense says never jump/hunt/x-c in a standing martingale - but fashion decrees otherwise.
                                Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                                • I was at a show riding a friend's horse, schooling him in draw reins in the warmup ring. This horse is a saint and I'm reasonably proficient with draw reins, so neither me nor my trainer was uncomfortable with this. Well, a dog got loose and my horse reared. I leaned forwards and put my hands forward like I usually do in a rear, but I forgot I had the draw reins and didn't release enough. The poor horse started staggering backwards as I went over his butt. I landed on my butt and he stepped in between my legs and put another over my thigh before coming down and moving away. I kiss him every day for not stepping on me.
                                  When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did – in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

                                  Official Secretary of Sass

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                                  • 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.
                                    I can literally hear the panic in your voice all these years later. So sorry.....

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by AnsleyGrace View Post
                                      Lastly and most tragic, I was at the state 4-H horse show in 2006 when a girl was leading her sister's horse into the covered concrete walkway that lead into the barn. The horse had just finished a showmanship pattern so he was wearing a stud chain. The horse spooked caught himself with the chain and reared straight up. It had been raining and the aisle was slick and the horse lost his footing and fell over backwards and hit his head on the top of the aisle wall and fell on his side. The vets worked on him for two hours but sadly had some sort of internal injury and had to put him down. It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen.
                                      Was this the Georgia state show in Perry by any chance?

                                      Edit: OK, I just realized that I am responding to a post from 2008. But I am pretty sure the accident described is the same one I remember. My DD was showing at the state show that year with several barn mates, and the kids were kept out of the barn aisle where all this was happening so they wouldn't have to see the dead horse. We didn't know at the time why the aisle was blocked off; we heard the details of the accident later, but what we heard is what this poster described. Horrible.
                                      I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

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                                      • My friend's appy DOES NOT TIE- I truly think he would kill himself before he gave up fighting (although he has come a long way with my homemade blocker ring.) He also is iffy about trailering and has some other quirks. Anyway, we took him and my mare to a show. Parked on the concrete in the parking lot and went to unload. Blue hauls untied in the trailer, which has always worked fine, but that day for some reason he decides to back out when we open the door, but BEFORE we undid the butt bar. He got his 16.2 body under that bar all the way to the withers, fighting and scrambling and screaming. Friend has his lead rope, but he is setting back against her hands and will not go forward. Friend's husband is trying to undo the bar with the horse under it. I RAN over and SHOVED husband out of the way, (almost knocked him down) and shut the door on him. Between me pushing and her pulling he finally came forward and out from under the bar.

                                        If the husband had gotten that bar open, he would have flipped over on the concrete, probably on top of the humans. If the bar had broken while I was shoving the door shut on him I'd have been crushed. To this day I think they have no idea a how close that horse was to DEAD. He showed and won that day-then we noticed after that he was scraped up all the way to the withers.
                                        ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                                        ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
                                        ~Vet Tech Student
                                        Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats

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                                        • ..now we are all going to give up riding! Too risky to us and the horses.
                                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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