What happens when two heavy horses 'Harvest' a Mamiya RZ67 kit with a 1930's bailng machine

Last Weeks narrow escape with an iPad was very widely read

So I thought I would tell a tale of epic disaster in which it was very lucky no one died, or indeed injured

It is a true story too

Many, many years ago I was assigned by a leading British Magazine to photograph heavy horses (BIG working horses which work on the land used for ploughing etc) which were working on a farm, somewhere in England.

It was in the days of film, and I was shooting on Mamiya RZ67 ProII.

A lovely big mother of a camera which for all of its size and weight limitations was a peach to use.

I had a good selection of lenses for it too, including the wonderful 140mm F4.5 macro lens which was a honey.

So I met the farmer and he walked me down a narrow farm track, where a party of school children were ambling, to introduce me to the HUGE and very beautiful heavy horses and the machinery they would be pulling, a bailing machine from the turn of the century in beautiful condition.

Having worked where the best vantage point would be I bought the car up with the equipment

The scene looked a little like this.

I started to shoot some pics in the middle of the field, I realised I had left a lens hood in the car.

I walked back to the car which was about 100 yards away, and retrieved the lens hood, I closed the door and turned around in time to see the horses bolt at top speed across the field toward the gate.

What caused this I truthfully have no idea

The faster they ran the more racket the bailing machine made and the more alarmed the horse came, and the faster they ran.

They ran straight over the Camera bag with a complete Mamiya RZ ProII outfit inside and it was gone.

Yes, gone, flattened by hooves and then harvested up by the machine which was now not only just ejecting hay but spewing out mashed camera gear.

In quite small pieces.

I forgot this in a second when I realised that the horse/haymaker combo was not going to make it through the gate way at that angle.

The horses made it but the bailer didn't.

It was ripped from the horses and was smashed to pieces.

Thankfully the children were no longer in the lane, so they avoided the running horses.

The horses ran back to their stable and were uninjured.

What lessons to draw from this?

Other than to have very good insurance, I'm not really sure.

But it was a shocker.