Some people show truly amazing levels of horsemanship. Sometimes, its riding a blind horse through working equitation. Other times, its dealing with a crisis situation on the racetrack. When the bridle broke mid-race, Laura Cheshire managed to lead her horse to safety in a true show of skill and trust between rider and horse. Watch Laura Cheshire’s bridleless ride!
Watch Laura Cheshire’s Bridleless Ride
Stewards footage from yesterday.. this song played when I got in my car to drive home and the relief was strong that myself and Exo (Secret Blend) both came away without a scratch. We are purple and white barrier 11. Blessed that I was able to wake up and ride trackwork this morning. Last pic is the boy and I this morning. He is tired but well. Three laps he really deserves to sleep for a week! ❤️❤️ #jockeylife #luck #stickwiththeship #threelapsnobridle
Posted by Laura Cheshire on Saturday, August 26, 2017
Riding without a bridle can be great fun, but not when one’s in the track racing to the win at full speed. That is exactly what Laura Cheshire had to do. When her bit broke, Laura had to guide her horse, Secret Blend, to safety while the horse wanted to speed down the track.
As soon as the bridle broke, Laura had to catch the reins so the horse wouldn’t get tangled and fall. Other riders soon noticed her predicament and gave her space. One attempted to help steer Secret Blend (“Exo”) away and out of the track. The Thoroughbred would have none of it, though. At one point, another rein broke and almost tangled around his hind legs, spurring the horse even faster and further down the track. Stewards and pony riders watched helplessly as the Thoroughbred sprinted on, after slowing down for a moment.
It took Laura’s skill to steer him toward the rail, where he paused just enough for her to leap off the saddle and wrap one of the reins around his nose, to lead him back and out of the track. At the end, they ran three laps before she could take back control and walk him out. The horse, clearly exhausted, seemed to finally relax and accept her guidance. It was a relief for both the jockey and the panicked Thoroughbred.
Laura Cheshire’s bridleless ride was harrowing, but her quick thinking and skill managed to save them both.
You can read Laura’s retelling of her ride here. She rides both Thoroughbreds in the racetrack and in show jumping.