Freestyling Across the Board: The Mrs. Stickability Awards

If you’ve been following EN for any period of time, you’re probably familiar by now with the infamous footage of Andrew Nicholson vaulting his way out of what very well should have been a rotational fall for him and Mr. Smiffy at Burghley, circa 2000. In his honor, we often like to give out special recognitions to those riders who add a little *spice* to their rides (all for our sake, of course).

This past week has given us a few of these stellar moments to add to the trophy case — of which the grand prize for the Stickability (slash Freestyle) Awards goes to 2022 Speed Derby Champions Harriet Biddick and Silver Lift at the Hickstead Derby on Saturday. As very aptly noted by one user in the comments, “Hickstead course with no tack is like one of those nightmares I have right before I wake up.”

Barely phased by the loss of what one might typically consider a rather important piece of riding equipment, Harriet put to shame all those days I spent as a child jumping grids with my arms held out to the sides by nailing a very imposing triple plank combination with ease while bridleless. What a pair — gold stars for you.

A close Silver Stickability goes out to Austrian rider (and winner of today’s FEI Eventing Nations Cup at Strzegom) Lea Siegl at the Luhmuhlen CCI5* last week. After leaving the first FEI Eventing Nations Cup event of the season at Montelibretti in March as the winner of both the CCIO4*-S and the CCI4*-L, Lea and DSP Fighting Line apparently felt they needed just a little extra somethin’ to shake things up in the water complex at Luhmuhlen.

“Lost a stirrup? No problem” (for Lea at least, because I definitely tracked down and deleted all footage of my own less-than-graceful lost stirrup moment from my most recent horse trials — in which I looked like a fresh fish on a pony ride, and nothing like the utter core strength exhibited here on a 5* course). Keeping it real with an excellent save!

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