Jock Paget’s near-miss

Most riders would have fallen off in this situation, but not Jock Paget! Great skills and sheer tenacity won the day. This near-miss is another one nearly beyond belief.

Jock Paget once competed in rodeos and we think he may have learned some skills in that arena which have been useful in his eventing career. Here he is back in November 2011 when he was competing in New Zealand at Waerenga spring horse trials on Clifton Airtight. This near-miss is certainly one that will be remembered by many.

Jock himself remembers the incident really well, all these years later. “It was over an oxer on the brow of a hill with two very long strides down to an upright stump. I rode the over strong, knowing it was two long, but we didn’t get there. Airtight (Flynn), chipped in another stride, but being so committed to the two sides, he didn’t have much room or time to get his legs out of the way so we hit the fence. Fortunately for me, Flynn managed to stay upright and get back on his feet!”

What Jock doesn’t say is that his own secure lower leg and great sense of balance helped considerably. He went on to win the Advanced Intermediate class with the fastest cross-country time of the day after leading with a 62.3% dressage.

 Clifton Airtight was by Justice Prevails out of Melody Tempo and went on to be second in the CCI3* at Puhinui that year.  He was sold to an Indonesian rider in 2012.

The photographer was Jan Sutherland, from Take the Moment Photography who has a knack of being in the right place at the right time!



An awkward landing was inevitable after hitting the fence.


It looks like both of them are heading for the dirt (or in this case, the green grass).


Flynn’s expression is still keen, but his legs seem to say something else!


Flynn is up, but Jock looks in all sorts of bother.


Momentum nearly carries Jock over Flynn’s ears


Are you checking your browband Jock?


On his way back down to where he really needs to be


“Phew!” says Jock. And it looks like someone caught it all on video!

Well ridden Jock, we have seen you do a couple of other amazing saves since then, but we think this one takes the cake.