‘Sit tight, I’ve got this’: British para rider clears extra 1.50m fence in 90cm class

Report by Horse & Hound

A British para rider kept a cool head when she accidentally jumped a 1.50m fence in a 90cm class.

Evie Toombes was riding as part of the British contingent at Pferd International München on 12 and 13 May.

The 16-year-old was enjoying a successful show, finishing third in a class on the first day of competition aboard her own High Offley Business Centre ("Daisy").

On Saturday, the pair were competing in a 90cm speed class in the main arena. Evie tried to take a tight turn inside one of the CSI3* fences, but Daisy locked on to the huge upright and cleared it with ease.

"I was just so focused on my next fence because I was up on the clock," said Evie.

"I picked her up and carried on, I thought Mum was going to tell me off when I came out the ring!

"I've been begging Mum to let me jump classes that are larger than 1m and I think even Daisy was trying to drop a hint."

Evie's mum, Caroline, told H&H they call the 15-year-old British-bred mare "Big Momma" because of how she looks after Evie.

"It's like she said, 'sit tight — I've got this'. The judge was fantastic as he didn't [ring the] bell — he congratulated her when she finished despite her elimination for taking the wrong course."Enter your text here ...

Evie has a form of spina bifida, which affects her lower leg strength, bladder and bowel. She has also had a nasal gastric tube for two years as her stomach struggles to process food.

She can only ride for short periods due to her condition, but despite this and the fact she is in constant pain, her motto is to "find a way, not an excuse".

In 2017, she was presented with the inaugural Hannah Francis Award for courage and inspiration.

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