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Hannah Mytilineou: Four ways of forgetting the course – The “Oh S#*t!”, the “Turtle Neck”, the “Déjà vu” and the “Blonde Moment"

Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Four ways of forgetting the course

Photo (c) World of Showjumping Hannah Mytilineou shares her many ways of forgetting the course...

Greek rider Hannah Mytilineou has competed at the Olympic Games and at three Balkan Championships, and is a familiar face on the international showjumping circuit. Mytilineou is fiercely competitive, and recently recorded three wins at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour in Oliva Nova – but here she shares her other more ditzy side, which many riders might recognize themselves in... 


A member of the team at World of Showjumping asked me to write about my MANY experiences of being eliminated or accumulating unnecessary faults due to error of course.

So here they are..... An example of “the dont’s“ of riding.

There are a variety of different ways that I have managed to do one of the above and as it happens quite often, I have given them names.

First we have the “Oh S#*t!”, which is when I have a complete and utter black out of where the next fence is. That usually ends up in me bypassing it, making a circle or more embarrassingly squawking “Where’s the next fence?” until I get my bearings. That last particularly humiliating scenario, was just last week.

Second is the “Turtle Neck”, where I land and momentarily forget the course, which is when turtle neck comes into play. My neck becomes slightly longer and my head starts to slowly swivel, looking for the next fence. That one is not so bad, as I usually manage to reroute and get back on track without anyone realising, but often with an expensive time fault.

Photo (c) World of Showjumping ...and when she does not forget the course, she is busy winning!

Third is the “Deja vu!” Ever get that deja vu feeling? You know that feeling like you’ve been there or done that before? Well this is when I jump the same fence twice within the course. I am quite an expert it seems, because many times the judges haven’t even noticed. I obviously incorporate it so well into my round, that it looks perfectly natural. I don’t even realise I’m doing it myself, until I am approaching the same fence for the second time. My course can go something like 1, 2, 3, 7, 5, 6, 7 etc. Then of course, I have the dilemma! Do I continue like nothing happened or do I just slow down and casually walk out of the ring with a raise of the hand, pretending to retire, as after all I was really only just schooling?

And last but not least, the crème de la crème... Number four, the “Blonde Moment”, which fortunately has only happened once and I sincerely apologise to all blondes, as no blonde, as far as I know, has actually ever done this next move. To be honest, I’m not sure anyone has! Whilst competing in the Greek Championship some years ago, I was first to go and after completing a lovely clear round, I was quite offended by the silence at the end of it, only to find out when I exited the ring, that the reason for that silence, was confusion. Because you see, I had unknowingly finished the course at fence 11, but I jumped 12, which actually was not 12, because there was no 12, it was 2. So, I jumped number 2 again, thinking it was 12! Please don’t ask! I really don’t know the answer! As it turns out, whilst you are allowed to fall off after the finish line, you are not allowed to jump another fence after it, therefore elimination follows. Apparently, the excuse of stupidity is not an exception to the rule. A happy ending though, as luckily I had a second horse and we still managed to win the championship, not for the want of trying not to though.

So I guess the moral of my story is....focus and concentration whilst walking the course is not overrated, it’s an absolute must.

It’s too late for me, but there’s still time for you.


- Hannah -


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