Guy McLean OK After Scary Wreck at Ohio Equine Affaire

And if you didn’t already love him, you will after you read this.

The accident occurred during the Aussie horseman’s Saturday evening performance at Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio. He and his longtime partner, an Australian Stockhorse named Spinabbey, burst into the arena, ready to wow the crowd with their Man from Snowy River themed show that had brought the house down the day before. His plan was to gallop around the end corner of the arena, stock whip in hand, but when they got to the wall…

Luckily, the pair walked away with minimal injury. Spinabbey was no worse for the wear; Guy was taken to the hospital by ambulance and diagnosed with a separated shoulder.

“It all happened so quick,” Guy recounted on his Facebook page. “Spinabbey is now and has always been the most incredible equine athlete I have ever ridden and his physical abilities have only ever been surpassed by his complete commitment to the moment and an extreme courage and desire to please me that defies logic itself. I have often felt and even been known to say that ‘Spinabbey would run through a brick wall if I asked’ and tonight he proved me correct in the most stunning way possible.”

“As we galloped to the corner, I can remember my dear friend doing an unplanned flying change to the right and by the time I rethought my actions and looked left again and tried to turn out of it, he had changed straight back and for a split second, I was staring straight at the wall and Spinabbey (committed to the bitter end) gave actions that said to me ‘If you say so Dad, the wall it is.’ It happened in the blink of an eye and I was just able to turn him left just enough for his powerful side to take the brunt of the impact and this action caused us to hit the wall high up and as his wonderful frame continued its course along the high boundary, I continued my path to the other side of the wall and the concrete floor below.

“It is extremely important for me that you all know that I would never put any of my beloved equine family in harms way on purpose and as I lay on the ground on the other side of the wall (with wonderful caregivers surrounding me) my mind went straight to my dear friend and my heart ached that I may have caused him harm. My dear wife Emily, red faced with tears streaming down her pretty face, called our precious boy to her and as he returned to her at the trot (seemingly completely unharmed) she said he looked at her as if to say ‘Where’s Dad, is he alright?’

“My adrenalin was through the roof and all I wanted to do was check on my dearest friend, find he was perfectly alright and return to the arena and finish what we started but common sense and many caring and concerned faces stopped me doing so. As I walked to the ambulance with a large lump on my shoulder and one in my mouth just as big, with a kind ambulance officer on each side, I had to pass Spinab to get to the waiting van. He looked at me with the deepest and kindest eyes I have ever seen looking back at me and in our caring embrace I felt equaled emotions from both of us that echoed ‘I’m so sorry my dearest friend, I love you dearly and I’ll see you soon.’ My dear friends Hannah and Chelsea returned my precious boy to his stall and too many kind wishers to count ensured that all of the team were bedded down safe and sound. Spinab was given a clear bill of help from the wonderful vet on site and and received double the ration of food then normal and from my asking, was told how much his Dad loved him and that would be with him soon.

“I must sincerely thank everyone involved from the amazing staff at this world-class event to many beautiful hearts who have reached out in many wonderful ways and as I type this from my hotel bed with a clear bill of health other than a separated shoulder that was explained to us as damaged ligaments and a stretched ACL, I have hoped to convey my sincere feelings of one very eventful evening and I think that I may even wear my shirt tomorrow that reads ‘Living on the edge is dangerous but the views from there are breathtaking.’

“So as I try to get some rest tonight in my endeavor to take some part in tomorrow’s final day of one of my favourite events worldwide, I want to thank you all for caring so much about my dearest mate and I and I sincerely want to put these wishes and feelings out to my comrade in arms before being with him once more in the morning.

“Spinabbey, my dearest mate, you have always been my hero, my one in a billion, my Super Horse that could fly and tonight my legendary soulmate, you almost did just that. I want you to know that I would lay my life down for you and tonight I felt the same from the boldest heart I have ever known and this evenings actions only make me love and appreciate you more than ever and I cannot wait to hold your noble head in my arms in the morning and tell you how proud I am of the man you’ve become. My idol, my friend my Spinabbey.”

Despite doctor’s orders to “take it easy,” Guy was back in the saddle the next morning — separated shoulder and all — for a slightly subdued 9:30 performance. Who needs two arms, anyway?

Guy and his team hit the road for Harrisburg this morning, with Spinabbey “well rested and showing absolutely no signs of soreness” and his wife at the wheel: “As I normally do all the driving, my wonderful wife (and dearest friend) Emily will be our pilot on this journey of the trip and with Spinabbey as my ‘Superman’ and Emily as my ‘Wonder Woman’, the ‘Super Hero Train’ is on its way.”

Here’s wishing Guy a swift recovery! Go Riding.



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