Norwegian Geir Gulliksen, 60, won his first FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) Show Jumping World Cup on Sunday after more than 40 years in the show-jumping beating riders half his age, but the day did not end well for the sexagenarian as he was thrown on to the wall of the arcade by his horse during the prize-giving ceremony on Sunday.
Gulliksen won the title at the Gothenburg show, thus claiming a spot at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in April later this year. “This is definitely the highlight of my career,” he said after getting the fastest clear round in the jump-off on his horse VDL Groep Quatro as quoted by news agency Reuters. “As I got older I thought it would never happen.”
However, when Gulliksen went to collect his award, still on his horse and his safety helmet unstrapped, the horse startled by a woman in the arcade who was giving the prize to the winner, ran back with Gulliksen losing his balance. Yey, he held on to the saddle but lost the grip close the arcade wall and fell much to the astonishment of the crowd.
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The shock turned to concern when Gulliksen did not get up immediately with the organisers rushing in with yellow screens to cover the rider. However, Gulliksen got up with his hands up in victory sign but was visibly shaken by the incident.
Later on, he lightened the mood by taking the mike and letting the crowd know that he was fine. He joked, ” I (have) fall(en) many times, but this was close. I saw the wall coming, so I thought I better drop down you know, but I have a big arse, so…”.