I enjoyed a fabulous British Showjumping Blue Chip Winter Championships show. To win £4,500 at a national show is not common, and the Gala night crowd created a great atmosphere. Well done to Andrews Bowen for the bonus — it added extra suspense for the spectators, and especially for me.
The show is well-run, slick and professional, the secretary’s office is very helpful and the livestream fabulous. My owners Helen Rees and Dyfrig Richards couldn’t attend but watched from Wales and West.
How lucky are we to have Olympic course-designer Bob Ellis building at a national championships? Bob and assistant Paul Connor did a great job.
But the show needs to draw spectators on other nights, and Thursday’s Pro challenge should be a Wednesday speed class. Any class with 70 starters is too long, and a day off between classes would be better for the top horses. A mini-major would be a great crowd-pleaser.
Grand prix riders are part of the entertainment and a block booking fee on the two classes would help attract top riders.
I felt the top warm-up arena would have benefited from bright, white lighting and the same surface as the arena — as it was, my careful horses were uneasy.
Frank Grunnill and the team are great at getting us to the ring on time, but regular announcements would give those in the far-away day parking a heads up.
Ref: Horse & Hound; 7 April 2016