Producer Anticipates (his own) Injury Free Badminton
in Melvin Coxs California home sits a stack of slightly tattered
British newspapers. Every now and then hell pull the stack
out, glance over a particular set of articles, and be reminded of
the awesome power of the horse.
years ago this week, as the articles reveal, Cox had an unforgettable
run-in with such equine might. On a rainy afternoon at the 1999
Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, he became seriously injured
during the cross-country phase of the event not unusual for
a rider, but Cox, now 50, was recording highlights of the event
in the capacity of a videographer and television producer.
out of a lake, Australian Stuart Tinneys horse, Tex, veered
off course, jumped the fence in front of which Cox had been positioned
and landed amidst the spectators in a viewing area. Cox, who was
knocked backwards over the fence with a video camera on his shoulder,
suffered a broken left forearm. A woman spectator was taken to hospital
with a broken collarbone. The incident seen live on closed
circuit television by spectators at Badminton and via tape delay
on the BBC was unsettling for everyone including Mr. Tinney
who, although swiftly coming to the aid of the injured, was later
treated for shock.
accident, including dramatic photos caught by nearby photographers,
became front-page news in Britain the next day.
overwhelming concern and kindness, event organizers facilitated
Coxs prompt return home to California, where he immediately
underwent surgery. Although initial indications pointed to the success
of the procedure, it was later discovered that the injury had not
properly healed. After ultrasonic bone growth therapy also proved
unsuccessful, Cox underwent a second surgery in February of this
year, which required a bone graft taken from his hip.
such a series of events could easily steer the average person far
away from the equine species, quite the contrary has happened to
Cox. As the Senior Producer of the television series "With
Equestrian Tact: The International Video Magazine of the Equestrian
Sports", he is closer to horses than ever, attending national
and international events and producing a variety of stories on equestrian
life long horse lover, Cox maintains cordial relationships via email,
fax and Christmas card with many of the "wonderful people"
he met as a result of the 1999 incident, including Stuart Tinney.
With another mount, Jeepster, Tinney went on to win a gold medal
for Australia in the Three Day Event team competition at the 2000
Olympic Games in Sydney. He and Tex hope to compete this September
for a World Championship during the World Equestrian Games in Spain.
will return to Badminton this year, his first visit since the accident.
Joining him will be a multinational production team that will gather
footage and conduct interviews for future documentary presentations.
With its colour, pageantry and flare not to mention the incredible
tests of horsemanship the Badminton Horse Trials encapsulates
the ideal ingredients for high quality equestrian programming.
would not think of doing this series without a visit to Badminton,"
says Cox. "There is no question that it is one of the most
exciting and prestigious events on the equestrian calendar."
for being back at Badminton, Cox is ecstatic, and not the least
bit worried about his safety. "If the organizers will allow
it, I plan to watch at least part of the endurance phase from the
same place where the accident happened," he says with a broad
grin. "But this time, if a horse is barreling in my direction,
Ill try a lot harder to get out of the way. My 10-year-old
daughter, Kimberly, made me promise this before she would ever let
me board an airplane headed in the direction of Badminton."
against the backdrop of international riding and driving competitions,
and incorporating the thematic wealth of classic as well as contemporary
jazz recordings, "With Equestrian Tact
a wide variety of equestrian sports topics in a documentary newsmagazine
format. The program is produced by SportsQuest International, a
privately held multimedia production company based in Oakland, California
series will be seen in the United States of America as a HorseTV
presentation on the America One Television network, and will be
distributed worldwide by Londons Prima Television International.