Hats of to Jack Pinkney who after his appearance at CCI5*-L Pau, France got world famous in a split second. Even though it’s for all the wrong reasons after steering his brave horse into a somewhat 3.5m tall palisade, which Raphael the horse even attempted to jump. With no such luck I might add. This whole incident from yesterday seems to divide the world of eventing into two sides.
One that believe he is some kind of hero attempting to ride his first ever 5* with one rein. And on the other side the ones who believe he should get a serious ban for doing so.
I totally respect people’s right to have their own opinion but let me tell you why my opinion goes in the direction it does.
When I grew up I wanted to become a veterinarian. But the day I realised I, as a vet, at one point or another would have to put animals to sleep I gave up that idea. Cause in all I am too much of an animal softy to wanting to be the one taking these decisions and even worse have to take action on it. So instead of becoming a veterinarian I put all my effort into becoming a riding instructor.
Gas, break, steering.
As such I have spent years, months and weeks in various institutions to educate myself. I still do. And let me tell you this. Every single instructor I’ve ever choose or was forced to train for believed the basics of riding comes down to three things.
- To be able to move your horse forward.
- To be able to stop it from moving forward.
- To be able to steer it into the direction you want to go.
It is as simple as that. No more no less. Which make me side with the ones that believe Mr. Pinkney should be banned. Cause in my opinion he obviously missed some crucial basics of riding and should be sent back to school as a figure of speech. You just don’t try to attempt to ride cross country without two out of the three above mentioned basics like ever!
Even worse, the very second Jack Pinkney choose that his gratification of riding a 5*-L was more important than the safety of his horse and himself. He also decided to play Russian roulette with the lives of the spectators – men, women and children – their dogs, the officials and media around the track. And all this starting at fence number 11 on a 35 fences long track!
The three blind mice..
But what really amazes me BIG TIME. Is where the f-ck the Ground Jurors were hanging out and what they were doing during cross country? The rein snapped at fence 11. The rider continues with both a flapping rein and martingale for 15 fences and 20 jumps with no one stopping him.
This rider even jumps two fences through the water out on the race track letting go of the stump of the left rein! Still no one stopped him for endangering the lives of others, himself and his horse. In the end – as I’ve been told and read – he doesn’t even get a Yellow Card but a recorded warning. What a joke!
Look, no hands!
What signals does this send out to the general public and other riders, never mind their level of riding skills? Imagine the horse had dropped dead by the palisade or had ended up killing someone by the sidelines. Who is then to blame? The rider or the officials?
I’d say the officials everyday of the week. Cause to me they are set in position as a safety belt for riders that make bad decisions and or are not ready for the task. But with these non absent and or totally spineless officials our sport will die a quick and painful death.
In all, these kind of incidents and lack of good decision making – remember Ollie-gate – just make eventing come yet another step closer the sport of endurance. And all this while we’re also feeding both fuel and matches to the crazed up animal rights people. Does anybody really want to go there?