Many of us watched dismayed as U.S rider Elisa Wallace coaxed her obviously exhausted horse over the last fence during the Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cross Country phase and saw them crash to the ground as Simply Priceless lacked the energy to clear it. It was very sad to watch and afterwards the ground jury gave Wallace a yellow yard for 'Abuse of the horse.'
However, did many of you wonder, as we did, why those officials on the ground didn't make her pull up earlier?
Fortunately rider and horse were unhurt in the fall and In a statement on her Facebook page, Wallace said,
“I am OK as well, but I’m disappointed in myself for letting down my horse, my country, and my sport. I should have pulled him up. And I agree with the ground jury giving me a yellow card. I made a mistake that I will NEVER make again. I am lucky we are both unscathed. Johnny gave me everything today. I love my horse and my sport.”
Some horses really will give their all for us so it's important that not only riders but also the sports that we engage in don't abuse that generosity. However, before we all jump in to attack Wallace for what is obviously a bad judgement call, we should also ask ourselves if we have at some point when working towards a goal, however big or small, just gone that little bit too far and asked too much of our horse.