Opinion

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First, I’d like to thank Tim Price on behalf of the riders for putting on this show at such short notice. We’re very lucky that he’s supported it, as it could so easily have been lost.

However, the numbers forward have suffered because the date clashed with shows such as the Welsh Masters, which for many riders who haven’t been on overseas tours — and even some who have — is a traditional start to the British outdoor season.

The other problem is that people who’ve already been jumping outdoors may not want to bring their horses indoors again, so most of the riders here hadn’t been on tours abroad. That made me wonder if this show would work better outdoors. Addington has the facilities to put on a great early-season outdoor show and the qualification process would fit with other finals.

To jump at Horse of the Year Show, we qualify outdoors, so it should work well in reverse. We could qualify for the winter championships at indoor premier shows and then have really good prize-money to aim for at Addington’s big Easter outdoor show. And if the weather wasn’t too good, there would always be the option of moving indoors again.

It’s lovely to have good money on offer just down the road from where we live and the show was extremely well organised, but what it now needs is a real championship vibe. Riders want to have fun as well as get down to the serious competition stuff, so some evening entertainment and presentations with lights and music would add to the atmosphere.

With some fine-tuning, this could become a show no one wants to miss.

Ref Horse & Hound; 20 April 2017