‘We have found a sport we both love’

A for­mer Flat racer dis­cov­ers her vo­ca­tion

Horse & Hound - - Fantastic Feats - Mollie Pax­ford

“IN 2016 I went to try Orla, an ex Flat race­horse. She couldn’t trot and didn’t know how to jump with­out cat­a­pult­ing her­self full speed at a fence. But she was clever and sweet.

“Af­ter 12 months, we hadn’t got very far and I was in de­spair, but then I dis­cov­ered team chas­ing. Emma Burton of The Cun­ning Stunts team took us un­der her wing. Orla was a hand­ful to say the least, rear­ing up in the lorry park, break­ing off, kick­ing out and caus­ing gen­eral stress. Then once I got on her we could only run side­ways or back­wards.

“This au­tumn Orla and I led The Cupid Stunts around their first ever open. Orla took ev­ery­thing in her stride and didn’t hes­i­tate at any of the enor­mous fences. There were a few hairy mo­ments, but all four new­bie rid­ers made it home.

“I used to watch The Cun­ning Stunts as a child, with my jaw on the floor. Never in a mil­lion years did I think I would be one of them, or be the proud owner of a lead open team chase horse. I’m de­lighted to have found a sport that we love so much, and to have given her an­other life in which she can thrive.”

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