As someone who has grown up with Horse & Hound, it was a huge honour to be asked to guest edit this issue. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it has given me a deeper insight into the challenges — and the journalistic skills — involved in publishing the country’s leading weekly equestrian magazine.
Riders, together with everyone involved in the development of our sport, should jump at any opportunity to gain a deeper insight into how the media works and acknowledge its critical role.
I hope you find the articles as thought-provoking as I did. The piece on the threats facing elite dressage (p26) left me convinced that it’s time for riders and administrators to embrace innovation, rather than fear it.
When asked if we riders would be open to change, we make all the right noises, but then appear to immediately reject almost every new idea proposed to us.
The FEI dressage committee are rightly exploring ways to develop our sport, including fulfilling any new IOC criteria, but they’ve been met with the usual cries, warning of the ruination of dressage.
Whether it’s trying shorter tests or examining dressage descriptions, there’s always uproar.
I’m a conventional sort of guy, but when it comes to developing our sport we have to connect with the public and the media we’re seeking to attract.
I was therefore heartened to read how open some of our top riders would be to relaxing the restrictions on competition clothing (p42).
There is sound advice on buying your next dressage partner (p32) and valuable input from three expert farriers to help keep him sound and comfortable (p16).
Finally, congratulations to all our British riders battling so successfully on the international stage; both at Addington (p48) and in Barcelona.
Aside from making us all feel so good, it’s exactly what is needed to help build future championship squads and keep us on the podium in years to come.