— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) December 7, 2017
This is one of the greatest athletic feats you will ever see.
Thursday afternoon at Clonmel Racecourse in Tipperary, Ireland, jockey Jack Kennedy (yes, that’s his name) was riding a 6-year-old horse named Robin Des Mana in a Steeplechase race — a type of horse race in which the runners jump over several fences en route to the finish.
In the video above, you can see Kennedy and Robin Des Mana second from the left as they approach the fence. As they landed, the horse appeared to take a bad step, causing Kennedy to lose control. The rider nearly fell off, with only his left hand wrapped around Robin Des Mana, and his legs dangling in the air right in front of the horse.
The horse kept galloping, as the jockey tried to climb back aboard using his right hand for leverage. Robin Des Mana veered towards the rail, and then back out towards the rest of the field. Kennedy, at one point, was lying atop the horse on his stomach!
But somehow, somehow, the rider eventually regained control.
And remarkably, Robin Des Mana actually won the race.
“I was a little bit embarrassed that I got thrown out of the saddle, so I said I’d better try to stay on him,” Kennedy said, in remarks published by The Guardian. “It was a silly mistake and I thought I was gone but I didn’t fancy getting galloped on. I was lucky the railing was there as I’d have been gone out of the race, and he kept straight and that was a big help. I got in underneath the last [fence] and I could see the other horse coming to me, but he pulled it out.”
Watch footage you have to see to believe above, via At The Races.
[featured image via screengrab]
Follow Joe DePaolo (@joe_depaolo) on Twitter
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org