Great Yorkshire Show shock proposal as famed equine stunt rider Ben Atkinson goes down on one knee

A dramatic performance at the Great Yorkshire Show drew to an exultant close with a very public proposal from a stunt rider to his assistant, who had gasped as he suddenly dropped to one knee.

Ben Atkinson proposes to Georgie Jackson in the main ring during his performance with Atkinson action horses from Eastrington near Goole. Picture Tony Johnson

Ben Atkinson leading Atkinson Action Horses through twirls and daring dances in the Main Ring, closed his show with a very special question to girlfriend Georgie Jackson as the crowd erupted in applause.

The stunned 22-year-old dressage instructor, who had been supporting Mr Atkinson in his team performance for the very first time, said she had been blown away in surprise.

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"I didn't have a clue," said Miss Jackson, from York. "He asked if I'd ride in the show for the first time ever - he only taught me how on Monday night. Then this. It's completely out of the blue."

Ben Atkinson proposes to Georgie Jackson in the main ring during his performance with Atkinson action horses from Eastrington near Goole. Picture Tony Johnson

Mr Atkinson, a stunt rider with the Atkinson family famed for riding and providing horses in shows from Peaky Blinders to Poldark and Wuthering Heights, has been performing since the age of 11.

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He has been secretly planning the proposal for two months, having already asked Miss Jackson's father for her hand in marriage, and enlisting her mother's help in choosing the ring.

"I love it," said a smiling Miss Jackson, as she examined the sparkling sapphire on white gold ring, set within two squared diamonds. "I can't believe it fits - I can't believe they've all kept it a secret."

Ben Atkinson proposes to Georgie Jackson in the main ring during his performance with Atkinson action horses from Eastrington near Goole. Picture Tony Johnson

For Mr Atkinson, aged 27 and from Eastrington near Hull, he had planned the proposal down to every tiny detail, drawing Miss Jackson into the ring as she supported him in his act.

"I wanted to do it as properly as I could," he said. "We've talked in the past about whether she'd like a public proposal, and what a good place to start."

And as the couple were greeted with beaming smiles and warm congratulations from family and friends gathered afterwards, Mr Atkinson finally breathed a sigh of relief.

"No show can ever be that stressful ever again," he laughed.

Ben Atkinson proposes to Georgie Jackson in the main ring during his performance with Atkinson action horses from Eastrington near Goole. Picture Tony Johnson

The couple who both teach riding, had met through work in November and are now to begin planning a wedding.

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