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Graham Fletcher says . . .

“A long-standing tradition has ended this month with the demise of the opportunity for three riders outside the BSJA’s top 10 rankings list to qualify for Olympia.

“The chance to qualify for Olympia gave our good national riders something to aim for. It was an especially good opportunity for up-and-coming young riders.

“But you can’t stop progress and we may have to accept that British entries at the show will be restricted to the top 10.”

Marcus Armytage says . . .

“Trainers may be swanning off to Santa Anita and Melbourne with their older horses at this time of year, but back at home it is anything but glory. All those yearlings bought at the autumn sales are coming in to be broken and across the land brave test pilots are being fired into orbit.

“It doesn’t need me to tell you that some horses are little dollies to break and others are very difficult, depending on their character, their breeding, how they’ve been brought up and how full of grub they’ve been for the sales.”

Lucy Higginson says . . .

“It’s a sad truth that being able to ride a bit and having an eye for a horse are two very different things. I know what sort of horse I like on the whole, but when faced with a glut of high calibre animals I’m bamboozled. It was interesting to stand next to people with a real “eye” at BE’s recent Breeding Championships at Tweseldown.

“Being able to spot – with reasonable consistency – the real troopers among the ‘pretty decent’ horses is an amazing talent. As I start to look for a new eventer, how I wish I had it.”

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