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Touché stumble sends Khara on mighty tumble

By Jean Gunn

A CAITHNESS rider had a lucky escape at the weekend after she and her horse were involved in a spectacular fall at Scotsburn.

Khara Findlater (21) of Halkirk, was taking part in the novice section at a British Eventing competition on Saturday when disaster struck on the cross-country phase.

She was at fence 11, a large picnic table jump, when her horse stumbled on the approach and failed to take off.

As a result Whaupshill Touché, known as Ché, slammed into the wooden obstacle – catapulting the young event rider over the table and somersaulting on the other side as she hit the ground head first.

Speaking after the fall Khara, who works for Tesco in Thurso, acknowledged that eventing could be a dangerous sport.

While Khara had to take a day off work following the incident, as she was feeling tender and finding it difficult to move, Ché was reported to be looking sound with no signs of stiffness.

Khara, who competed in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton last year, said she would now be changing her eventing plans for this year and would drop down a level at her next event, at Burgie on June 17.

Her fall was captured by photographer Sandra Low, of Ronnie Low Photography.

Sandra’s husband Ronnie said the fall had made for “very scary viewing through the lens” and that his wife had been quite shaken by the incident, in which she ran to help horse and rider until the ambulance and vet arrived.

It was, thankfully, a less traumatic day for the other Caithness riders at the event. North Highland College equestrian lecturer Alasdair Matheson won the BE80 training section with his horse Pride of Drumboy in their second British Eventing outing.

They had a dressage score of 34.5, went clear in the showjumping and picked up 6.8 time penalties on the cross-country to finish on 41.3.

Caithness Pony Club members had a good day with Holly Henderson, on Durran Pedro, coming first in the pony club BE80 training section with a double clear finishing on 37.5, while Emma Mackay, riding Laucors Boadicea, came second with 52.9.

In the pony club BE90 section Emma Coghill was third with Rainbow’s Little Rock ­after a score of 33 in the dressage and picking up 6.4 time penalties on the cross-country.

Eve Nicoll came fifth in the same section on Jeorge Tullyreavy with 57.50.

Halkirk rider Meghan Blackwood was eighth in her BE90 section with Kash in just their second outing.

She finished on a score of 48.8, while Bridget Holt and Jim at the Mill came ninth with 50.20.

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