hurdle

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fall at the first hurdle

To fail to accomplish some task or goal at the very beginning of the attempt. John had his business plan all laid out, but he fell at the first hurdle when the bank refused to grant him a loan.
See also: fall, first, hurdle

fall at the final hurdle

To fail to accomplish some task or goal at the very end of the attempt. Negotiations between the two warring countries fell at the final hurdle due to disagreements over cross-border taxation.
See also: fall, final, hurdle

fall at the last hurdle

To fail to accomplish some task or goal at the very end of the attempt. Negotiations between the two warring countries fell at the last hurdle due to disagreements over cross-border taxation.
See also: fall, hurdle, last
References in periodicals archive ?
But maybe, just maybe, there are some other former hurdlers who understand.
"There's a good few hurdlers around at the minute with Solwhit, Hurricane Fly and Go Native but they've a fair way to go to match the other lads.
A hurdler has numerous motor and psychic qualities.
Scott, a runner and hurdler with City of Edinburgh AC, said: "I had a great day.
CHAMPION NOVICE HURDLER: Black Jack Ketchum (rated 161)' CHAMPION NOVICE CHASER: Foreman (163)' CHAMPION TWO-MILE HURDLER: Brave Inca (167)' CHAMPION TWO-MILE CHASER: Newmill (173)' CHAMPION TWO-AND-A-HALF MILE HURDLER: Mighty Man (165)' CHAMPION TWO-AND-A-HALF MILE CHASER: Hi Cloy (164)' CHAMPION THREE-MILE CHASER: War Of Attrition (173)' BRITISH CHAMPION CONDITIONAL JOCKEY: Keith Mercer' BRITISH CHAMPION JOCKEY: A P McCoy' BRITISH CHAMPION TRAINER: Paul Nicholls' BRITISH CHAMPION OWNER: J P McManus' HORSE OF THE YEAR: Brave Inca.
The seven skills and/or processes that go into the making of the successful hurdler may be broken down as follows.
We sent him to Barry [O'Sullivan] who did a great job schooling him, but I don't think we've seen the best of him yet as a hurdler. He's less fluent than some of his rivals in what is a strong Springbok final - the Mane Mane dog is as good a jumper as I've seen for many years bearing in mind these are all relative novices.
His regular rider, Ruby Walsh, was the first to pay tribute to the dual-Champion Hurdler who won an unprecedented 22 Grade 1 races.
As a staying hurdler only Big Buck's was his superior and he ran Paul Nicholls' star to a length and three-quarters in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival.
NICKY Henderson is biding his time before unleashing top hurdler Simonsig over fences.
Sprint hurdler Priestley has been suspended after analysis of his B sample indicated the presence of the asthma drug clenbuterol.
He is every inch a top class two-mile hurdler and should give Hurricane Fly plenty to do.
Despite Robles having an indoor best of 7.33secs the Cuban-born hurdler is yet to win in the UK.
Baracouda, the best staying hurdler in the last decade but getting no younger at 11, looked in with a chance on the home turn but kept on at only one pace to finish fifth.
Having been responsible for the champion steeplechaser in every category, only Inglis Drever's position as top staying hurdler could prevent a clean sweep for Irish-trained horses.