Grace, a seasoned show jumping horse, is accustomed to gracefully leaping over obstacles. However, a recent incident took a harrowing turn when she attempted to vault the breast bar inside her trailer. The outcome was startling – the delicate creature ended up upside down, her head supporting the weight of her body, while her hind feet dangled over the opposite side of the bar.
Fortunately, Grace emerged from the ordeal unscathed, narrowly avoiding a potentially catastrophic outcome such as a broken neck or back. Reflecting on the terrifying experience, her owner is advocating for a safety feature that played a crucial role in saving the mare’s life. On August 4th, Lorna Madden of Britain embarked on a journey with her broodmare Grace, a horse well-traveled and well-versed in competition. The purpose was to introduce Grace to fresh pasture in a new field. After securely closing the trailer and beginning the drive, Madden was startled by Grace’s sudden whinnies and stamping sounds from the trailer’s interior.
Madden elaborated that Grace’s initial calls and movements were typical when leaving behind a companion, as she had shared the trailer with a two-year-old filly earlier, which had already been removed. However, the situation took an alarming turn as Grace fell silent.
In a matter of moments, the atmosphere changed – Grace’s calm exterior gave way to a shift in her breathing pattern. As Madden prepared to exit the vehicle and open the field gate, she glanced through the window and was met with a shocking sight: Grace had managed to leap the breast bar and, in doing so, had become suspended in a precarious position, supported only by a quick-release bungee.
This dire scenario had Grace in an inverted state, her substantial frame suspended by her neck and the side of her head. The incident was a result of Grace attempting to jump over the breast bar while still attached by the bungee, resulting in her toppling over it. This mishap had the potential to cause severe injuries, even leading to the mare’s demise. Madden described the situation as peculiar, recounting that she had come across a similar incident on TikTok earlier that day and felt compelled to inspect her own trailer. To her astonishment, she discovered that one of the bungees was incorrectly positioned. Destiny seemed to intervene, as this realization may have averted a tragedy.
Taking swift action, Madden freed Grace from the quick-release bungee that had inadvertently entrapped her within the trailer. With the help of her partner, Madden then removed the pins securing the breast bar, allowing the mare to step out and regain her footing.
Madden emphasized the importance of correctly attaching the L-shaped hook with the pin to the trailer’s outer wall. When done incorrectly, the bar remains fixed, preventing it from dropping as needed. In Grace’s case, the bar was correctly positioned, enabling her quick liberation. Remarkably, Grace emerged from the situation composed and untroubled.
Following this incident, Madden is fervently urging others to inspect their trailer’s bolts to ensure they can be swiftly released in emergencies. She took to Facebook to communicate her message, highlighting that this safety feature remains inconspicuous until a crisis arises. Madden’s post reads, “It’s a safety feature and you wouldn’t know until you needed it.” She implores trailer owners to verify that their breast bars are installed correctly, as the same error she encountered is surprisingly common. Madden expressed her gratitude for the timely intervention that facilitated Grace’s rescue, concluding with a heartfelt appreciation for the unseen guardian watching over them that day.
Having enjoyed a successful show jumping career in Britain, Grace, who has also birthed four foals, participated in the prestigious Horse of the Year Show as a working hunter. Now, as she enters a new phase of life, Madden shared that it’s time for Grace to retire from all but being a delightful field ornament. Grace’s adventurous spirit and unique personality, aptly captured by her name “Crazy Grace,” have left an indelible mark, and she certainly deserves a tranquil retirement.