DressageAfrica is not standing in judgement of this incident, but would like to use it as an example of the need for adherence to basic safety procedures, as well as consideration towards other competitors and horses when riding at a show. Too many times we have witnessed a rider late for a class or prize giving cantering past other arenas and horses waiting to compete, never mind innocent spectators, children and the inevitable horde of dogs found at horse shows and events.
Due to the inconsiderate behavior of showjumper Ashlee Hausberger, two dressage riders and horses narrowly escaped serious injury today.
The Inter-Africa Dressage Cup prize giving and parade had just finished and all the horses were making their way out of the dressage section of KEP, twenty horses leaving the dressage Main Arenas is quite a tight fit. All were however quietly and steadily making their way back to the horsebox parking area.
Ashlee Hausberger having finished a prize giving in one of the showjumping arenas and apparently late for another one, saw fit to ride through the departing dressage horses; in itself this is not a problem. However Ashlee’s horse was noticeably tense and uptight, cantering sideways and spinning into the other horses.
When asked by Siobhan Records to slow down and be more considerate of all the horses and riders, Ashlee became quite vocal about being in a rush and her horse spun into Principal’s Real Rob Roy. For fear of being kicked Rob Roy shied sideways, and landed on top of one of the sprinklers surrounding the dressage warm-up arena. If it hadn’t been for his girth protecting him, he would have impaled himself on the steel stake and sprinkler head, as it is he has a few nasty cuts and scrapes, with severe bruising and swelling where the steel slipped off the girth. He is also supposed to compete tomorrow and this may have ended his Easter Show prematurely.
Every rider is well aware of how quickly horses can react or overreact to stimulus; an ounce of caution and consideration could very well avert a potential disaster.
This article is not intended to pit the showjumpers against the dressage riders; it just highlights the need for consideration and respect of all others around you no matter what discipline you compete in.
Imagine the devastation to all involved if the triumph of South Africa winning the Inter-Africa Dressage Cup, had been over shadowed by the loss of one of its up and coming super stars, all for the sake of a rosette.
Article by Mandy Schroder
Text © DressageAfrica – No reproduction allowed
Photo © DressageAfrica