Charles Le Matador?!

Uber-successful producer, Charles Le Moignan had “quite the experience” when he and his horse were chased by a bull at Malton show yesterday.

Charles had taken four-year-old small hunter mare, Oaktree Daydream (Cara) for “a little look around” before hitting the larger shows. “It turned out to be quite the experience!” Charles later laughed.

Charles and Cara were waiting in the main ring collecting ring for their class when “a big black bull” being shown in a nearby ring was spooked and escaped its handler before galloping down into the collecting ring. Cara then took fright and bolted back towards the lorry, which is when the story becomes particularly frightening.

The bull, spotting Cara on the run, decided to give chase, running through the ropes and into the lorry park behind her.

“I was shouting, ‘Get out of the way! Loose bull’ to people as I went,” said Charles, “and everytime I looked back, he was there behind me, and everybody fleeing around us.”

The faster Cara went, the faster the bull ran, so in a moment’s clarity, Charles nipped Cara in between some lorries, losing the bull, who continued directly forwards. “I could see people and trucks coming to catch the bull, so I nipped back down to the ring for my class!”

Cara proceeded to delight all connected when she proved herself not at all “traumatised,” and “knuckled down” to not only win, but take the hunter championship. “I ended up thrilled with her; it was such a test, and she took it all so well for a baby.”

By Jo Ackroyd’s ID stallion Bannvalley Pride of Midnight and out of Zorena’s Regal Dream Girl, a Willowcroft Regal Bronze small hack mare, Cara was bred by Charles’ good friend Claire Cooper who lives three miles away. She was born on June 14th, which is Charles’ birthday, albeit 67 years later! Her dam surprised Claire by foaling sooner than expected in rain. When Claire found Cara an hour later, she was cold, and Charles helped get her into the warm meaning he has known her since she was hours old. Pauline Binks duly purchased her for Charles to ride and she has so far proven to be quite the find!

“I’m 71. I started showing 60 years ago in 12.2’s and I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Charles, who looking back, is keen to see the funny side of it. “It’s really quite funny and we’ve laughed a lot. It was a frightening moment, but it had a happy ending. My championship was the compensation!”

We say, ‘well done to Malton show organisers and all who assisted in resolving the situation,’ but would urge Charles not to consider taking up a second career as a matador!

Image: Amy Griffiths Photography

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