Egg On My Face & Mud on My Equestrian Breeches!
As a youngster I spent as much time as I possibly could in the saddle and practically lived in my equestrian breeches. I headed for the stables at every opportunity and spent hours practising my show jumping. I had become a reasonably accomplished rider and even had a few rosettes to show for my efforts. All was going well until I tried a donkey derby...
The Donkey Derby
Then one day my mother informed me that the summer fair at the local park was to feature a donkey derby. She asked if I would like to enter the event and I was very keen to take part. After all, how hard could it be? I was able to jump a round of show jumping and so a flat race on a donkey would be a doddle. Wouldn’t it?
Dressed for Action
On the day of the fair I decided to wear my riding gear. I was hovering around the organiser’s tent in my equestrian breeches, tweed jacket and riding boots feeling like a true pro. All of the other competitors were dressed in their usual casual clothing. I was feeling more confident with every minute that passed.
Just before the race was due to start I was allocated a donkey in a random draw and climbed aboard. My new friend seemed quite relaxed and we ambled up to the start line. I was now quite excited and looking forward to the adulation of the crowd as I passed the winning post and also the moment when I would collect my prize. It then occurred to me that I didn’t know what the prize was. As it turned out, the nature of the prize would not be any concern of mine.
The Start of the Race
When the starter dropped her flag to signal the start of the race I gave my mount a firm nudge to urge him forward. He immediately turned into a bucking bronco and I found myself flying through the air. I landed on my bottom in a muddy patch of the field and sat there watching the bottoms of the other donkeys disappearing into the distance.
I was so embarrassed that I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. To make matters worse, my nice new equestrian breeches were filthy. I would have to spend the rest of the day walking around the fair covered in mud and completely humiliated. I wasn’t even sure where my donkey had gone after he had dumped me in the dirt.
My mother had often told me that 'pride comes before a fall' and on that day I discovered that it really does. I had been absolutely convinced that I would win that race because I was such a good rider. I hadn’t considered that I would be trying to win the race on donkey. A donkey that I knew nothing about. I didn’t even get off the starting line! What an ass!