By: Kimberly Loushin
When Fleur de Lis stumbled on landing from the C element of the triple combination in the CCI** show jumping at the Jersey Fresh International (N.J.) on May 10, Tamie Smith wasn’t sure what happened.
The bay gelding nearly unseated Smith but they stayed upright. When the dust cleared, however, “Milton’s” left front shoe was dangling from the clip on his girth, not on his hoof. He’d gotten his shoe clipped to his girth guard and had to pull it off to get his leg unfolded to land.
Milton's shoe dangling from the girth. Photo by Kimberly Loushin
Milton has been known to hit himself hard with his front shoes, so he wears a belly guard. He really snapped his left knee over the final vertical of the triple—catching his eggbar shoe in the carabiner clip used to attach his breastplate to the girth.
“I would have never even thought that something like that would happen,” Smith said afterwards, still shocked by the incident. Both Milton and Smith were uninjured in the incident, just shaken. Smith said that she plans to put duct tape over the clip in the future.
“I must have really upset a farrier and I don’t know about it,” she joked. “[Mai Baum] lost a hind shoe right before we came here. Then he lost his shoe before cross-country. Now this! I’m like ‘OK, three times, we’re good.”
Tamie Smith and Milton jumping C of the triple, where his shoe hooked on the belly guard. Photo by Lindsay Berreth
Fleur de Lis one-footing the landing over the jump. Photo by Deana Christensen
Check out some truly amazing video of the incident...
When you ride horses sometimes it comes down to luck. Unfortunately Tamie Smith had a spell of bad luck in the CCI** at Jersey Fresh International (N.J.).
Pulling up from the stumble counted as the second refusal for Smith and Milton, since he bay had had a bit of a meltdown earlier in the course. She had been in second with Mai Baum and third with the greener Fleur de Lis going into Sunday’s show jumping when things started to unravel. It all started when she approached the second fence with Fleur de Lis—an upright, bright blue vertical.
Notoriously quirky, Milton has taken exception to liverpools in the past and Smith joked that the bright blue reminded him of a liverpool hanging vertically and coming to get him.
The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding showed off his acrobatic skills coming out of the corner when he demonstrated some dramatic rears, earning rapt attention from the crowd gathered on the hills surrounding the main arena. Ever the professional, Smith of Murrieta, Calif., handled the hijinks well and got him back on track.
“I got him because he was quirky,” said Smith of Murrieta, Calif. “I’ve had him for three years because nobody else could ride him. He was sitting in a field. But he’s never done that in the show jumping before.”
Want more action from the Jersey Fresh International? See all of the Chronicle's coverage, including a great profile of course builder Morgan Rowsell and a fun look at riders' doggy companions.