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Racing's best recoveries - Four of the best gravity-defying jockey recoveries from near-falls

We look at some great jockey recoveries from near-falls. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Jumping is all-important in National Hunt racing, and we look at four occasions where horse/jockey harmony was gone, and the efforts to keep the partnership intact.

In National Hunt racing, jumping is the name of the game and both horse and jockey need to be on the same wavelength when it comes to getting over each obstacle in their path.

When this happens, it can often be a joy to watch, but when it goes wrong the horse can fall or unseat the jockey… most of the time.

National Hunt racing is littered with great recoveries by both horse and jockey when it has all gone pear-shaped in the jumping department, and we take a look at a few cracking efforts by both horse and jockey to keep partnerships intact.

1) Tom Cannon, In The Jungle

Riding in a four-runner race at Plumpton in April 2012, Tom Cannon’s mount In The Jungle was leading the field jumping the eighth fence.

The horse appeared to jump the fence fine, but the horse pitched on landing and his head hit the ground; unbalanced, Tom began the inexorable slide out the side door and the recoil of the horses’ head only sought to further throw Tom out of the saddle.

Tom would hold on though and despite being fully out of the saddle and hanging onto the horse’s neck, he clawed his way back into the plate and got his feet back into the stirrups. Given some time to recover, the horse remained in the race and eventually would go on to win relatively easily.

2) Davy Russell, Vaxalco

Davy was riding at Galway aboard Jim Culloty’s Vaxalco in a Beginners’ Chase earlier this year, and had made some jumping errors in the race before almost throwing the rider out of the saddle at four out when making ground.

The horse put in a short leap, throwing Davy into the air and out of the side-door. Davy landed on the horse’s neck and he was able to pull himself back into the plate, but his chance had gone and despite the jockey’s best efforts to get back into the race he finished a well-beaten fourth.


3) Robbie Dunne, Rigadin De Beauchene

Riding at Newbury in November 2012 in the Sportingbet Handicap Chase, Robbie and Venetia Williams’ Rigadin De Beauchene were upsides the leader and challenging when the horse put down at four out, throwing Dunne first one way, and then the other way out of the saddle.

With both legs on the same side of the horse, it looked inevitable that gravity would prevail and Dunne would hit the turf. But, using all his horsemanship, Dunne held onto the horse’s neck and worked his way back into the plate, got himself organised and his feet back into the irons before the next fence loomed.

The blunder had cost the horse places and distance on the field, but to his credit he battled on and was beaten only three lengths into third by Sizing Santiago.


4) Aidan Coleman, Renard D’Irlande

Every jockey has probably performed a gravity-defying recovery at one point or another in their career, but it seems Aidan Coleman makes a habit of it having done similar on horses such as Carrickboy and Annaluna in his career.

Perhaps none can quite match his spectacular sit on Renard D’Irlande at Wincanton in December 2012 during a Beginners’ Chase though!

Coleman and Venetia Williams’ runner were disputing a close second behind Coole River when the horse pitched on landing, unbalancing the jockey and it looked all over for the pair. In a mirror of Robbie Dunne’s earlier recovery though, Coleman was able to get back in the saddle and finish the race with the pair coming home in third.



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Racing's best recoveries - Four of the best gravity-defying jockey recoveries from near-falls

Jumping is all-important in National Hunt racing, and we look at four occasions where horse/jockey harmony was gone, and the efforts to keep the partnership intact.

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