Elle Choate’s Epic Save at Richland Park

Elle Choate is up for the Spider Monkey Award of the Year after she managed to recover from what looked like an unavoidable fall at the Richland Park Horse Trials last weekend. Entered in the Junior Training division, she and her Irish Sport Horse gelding Paddrick were having a lovely round when everything went sideways.

We’ll let Elle take it from here:

“He was having an absolutely fabulous warm-up and round up until that point… like a severe wood allergy…

Elle Choate and Paddrick, looking fab. Photo by Vickie Choate.

“He got in a little bit deep to the third fence and oxer so I clucked twice to him for a little encouragement…

Photo by Vickie Choate.

“I guess the second cluck was offensive and on landing he surged forward a stride then threw in the first massive twisted buck…

Photo by Vickie Choate.

“I probably could have recovered from that as he bucks all the time, but after that he threw his head straight down…

Photo by Vickie Choate.

“So it looked like I was going to become a lawn ornament, but I kept my reins short and I believe that I caught him in the mouth enough (sorry Paddy) that he immediately threw his head straight back up and caught me before I could go flying.”

Thanks to photographer Barbara Jean Martin, see what happened next.

After slowing Paddy down, Elle scooted back into the saddle and carried on with no stirrups.

Between this and Leslie Wylie’s 25km stirrup-less leg of the Mongol Derby, we have very little excuse to skip No Stirrup November ever again. Photo by Barbara J. Martin.

“I got one stirrup back before the next jump, which was a combination, and the second after that and we continued on like nothing happened and he finished the course beautifully.”

Photo by Barbara J. Martin.

Well done, Elle and Paddy for getting the job done!