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I recently saw a discussion online about professional riders not walking cross-country courses, instead learning them from Facebook pictures or by talking to someone in the collecting ring.

I’m sure a top rider could often negotiate a grassroots track competently without walking it. But I can’t help feeling this is cheating owners and, ultimately, the sport.

It seems hypocritical for competitors to call for investment in safety and better prize money if they won’t do their part. Surely walking the course is among the minimum standards for being properly prepared and so avoiding an unnecessary accident or just making a bit of a chump of yourself?

Come on riders, if we want to increase sponsorship and eventing’s audience, we have to present a professional sport with responsible participants — and that’s down to you too.

Use the hashtags

It’s crazy to think that when you read this the Rio eventing dressage will be just two days away. In Britain, engagement with these Games is considerably lower than with London 2012, unsurprisingly, but it’s vital that equestrianism gets behind these Olympics.

By showing our support we can help keep horse sport in the Games — so make sure you use any or all of these hashtags when you post about Rio on social media: #Equestrian #TwoHearts #JoinTheJourney

Ref Horse & Hound; 4 August 2016