The Badminton Horse Trials jumps are intimidating enough from the back of a horse. Imagine conquering them on your own two feet.
Anyone who's ever ridden cross-country knows how challenging it can be to navigate the course. Long gallops combined with large, solid fences make cross-country riding an exercise in physical strength, endurance, and mental fortitude.
It takes a talented pairing of horse and rider to successfully navigate the cross-country course....or does it? Not if you ask freerunner Mat Armitage who took on the Badminton Horse Trials course - without a horse.
Armitage, who is from Wirral, Merseyside, United Kingdom, navigated all 28 obstacles of the Badminton course during the time that the course was open for the public to walk. Some of these fences are up to five high and six and a half feet wide, a challenge for any athletic horse, let alone for a mere human.
Armitage is a professional freerunner, but he admitted that Badminton proved a real challenge. It took him almost four hours to complete the course, and he had to stride out his approach to each jump to make sure that he made it over.
Take a look at Armitage's incredible athletics in action:
Eventing riders need to be confident, skilled, and careful in order to get around these courses successfully. The same is true of the horses they ride. These horses need to be strong, fit, bold, yet, careful. Because of the size and solid nature of the obstacles, a miscalculation on the part of the horse or rider can lead to serious injury.
The cross-country course is an example of how horses can accomplish seemingly impossible physical feats. Now that Armitage has taken on the Badminton course, he's proven that humans are capable of pretty similar physical feats, too.
Tell us what you think of this guy's talent in the comments below!
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