Victory – Bitless and Sidesaddle – in a Traditional Steeplechase

Winner of the Dianas of the Chase sidesaddle steeplechase at Melton Mowbray: Susan Oakes, who set a new sidesaddle puissance record last year, and O’Muircheartaigh – by a length sideways AND bitless (yes, that’s a Micklem bridle). Liz Harris finished second, chasing the winner home. Sixteen started, three fell at the first but there were no injuries on the soft-to-heavy going. O’Muircheartaigh is a talented eccentric who now point-to-points after a career as a National Hunt steeplechaser – this was only his second time under a sidesaddle. Oakes wins a custom-made habit from the sponsors, Bernard Weatherill, and a big shiny trophy. She’s promised to wear the habit when she guns to break her own puissance record next July.

Thank you to Nicola Coffey for these wonderful photos (here’s her Facebook page with many more), with other images to be seen at Nico Morgan’s site.

Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.
Photo by Nicola Coffey.

Published by Susanna Forrest

Author of The Age of the Horse: an Equine Journey Through Human History and If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of Equine Obsession.

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