Grace, a seasoned show jumping horse, is used to leaping over hurdles with grace. A recent episode, however, took a terrifying turn as she attempted to jump the breast bar inside her trailer. The result was unexpected: the delicate creature ended itself upside down, her head sustaining her body’s weight while her rear 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. Grace’s placid exterior gave way to a shift in her respiratory rhythm in a matter of moments. As Madden prepared to depart the vehicle and open the field gate, she looked out the window and saw something shocking: Grace had jumped the breast bar and had gotten stranded in a hazardous position, supported only by a quick-release bungee.
Grace was inverted in this frightening position, her considerable frame dangling by her neck and the side of her head. Grace was attempting to jump over the breast bar while still attached by the bungee, which resulted in her crashing over it. This mishap may have resulted in serious injuries or possibly the mare’s death. Madden described the experience as strange, recalling seen a similar incidence on TikTok earlier that day and feeling prompted to investigate her own trailer. She was surprised to see that one of the bungees was inappropriately positioned. Destiny appeared to intervene, as this realization may have saved the day.
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 occurrence, Madden is asking everyone to thoroughly inspect their trailer’s fasteners to ensure they can be quickly released in an emergency. She used Facebook to spread her message, emphasizing how this safety feature is hidden until a catastrophe occurs.
According to Madden’s article, “it’s a safety feature and you wouldn’t know until you needed it.” She urges trailer owners to double-check the installation of their breast bars, since the problem she observed is shockingly prevalent. Madden emphasized her thankfulness for the timely intervention that enabled Grace’s rescue, finishing with a heartfelt thanks to the unseen guardian who was watching over them that day. Grace, who had a great show jumping career in the United Kingdom and had four foals, competed as a working hunter in the renowned Horse of the Year Show. As she approaches a new stage of life, Madden explained that it’s time for Grace to retire from everything except being a charming field decoration. Grace’s daring energy and distinct personality, well represented by her nickname “Crazy Grace,” have made an indelible imprint, and she surely deserves to retire in peace.