Ginny Howe's broken girth


Sometimes we capture some of the most unusual things when we are filming the cross country phase at events. We provide a dispute resolution and safety service to the events we attend to help them assess what has happened at particular fences but one of the more unusual incidents this year was at Osberton International when Ginny Howe contacted us to see if we had footage of her girth breaking on course

Ginny was riding Echo P in the CCI2* at Osberton in October when her girth broke over Fence 6; luckily neither Ginny or Echo P were hurt as a result and Ginny, unaware of what had happened continued to approach Fence 7

“I had no idea what had happened at Fence Six but I thought he had gone a bit 'lookie' on me over the fence and I gave him a couple of small smacks as a bit of a 'wake up'. Little did I know that in fact it was that he had obviously felt the girth break just before taking off for the fence! Poor boy, he was so genuine to keep going”

“I continued to the approach of Fence 7 and thought it was possible my saddle had slipped but it was only when I saw something flapping I realised what had actually happened and pulled up”

“Had this have happened at Fence 7 it could have been a very different story. Fence 6 was a single fence and fairly forgiving however 7ab was a tricky combination. I think we are both very lucky, I was totally gutted at the time and felt that Echo P and his owner had been let down but, on the other hand, we were both still in one piece”

Like all professional riders, Ginny takes great care of her tack, thoroughly checking it all prior to leaving for Osberton and also when it was cleaned during the event.  The girth was checked before leaving the Start Box but there was no indication of any problem

“There was no way in telling what was about to happen as it was the elastic on both buckles from in the centre of the girth that had pulled out and was covered by leather and stitched. So you could not tell it was worn or was about to break. I also used the same girth on the first horse that I had already ridden!”

“In future I'm seriously considering going back to the old school days and using an overgirth like every one used to” adds Ginny “It's certainly a first anything like this has happened to me and in a moment of madness I remember wondering if I could continue with no saddle... obviously not but all kinds of things ran through my head!!”

And this is how it happened .............