Lucy Higginson says . . .

“Eventers like testing the chortle-stifling abilities of commentators. The sport has always attracted high numbers of Virginias, Carolines and Pollys, but some of its latest recruits come with names you’d think were lifted from the lacrosse pitches of Mallory Towers.

“Galloping out of the start box these days are Piggy, Wiggy (no relation), Bumble, Tiny, Nini, Netia and Cressie. One redeeming feature is that the sillier the name, the gutsier the girl using it seems to be.”

Richard Phillips says . . .

“Stable staff do a job that is skilled and gives great satisfaction and reward. Though this isn’t always financial, the pool-money system of prize-money does increase the wage packet.

“How many occupations give you the adrenaline buzz of riding racehorses at speed and being associated with winning athletes in front of crowds?

“Admittedly, you do have to get up early and get cold and wet some days, but so does a postman.”

Mark Phillips says . . .

“My knowledge of Franch Geography has been of considerable mirth recently. When attempting to fly to Saumur two weeks ago, I landed in Lyons, which is further away from Saumur than my home in Gloucestershire.

“Still, I got to see parts of France I’ve never seen before — and missing the first day of dressage could be said to be a mixed blessing! I thought the French did a good job. Pierre Michelet, the course designer, may have caused consternation at Compiegne the weekend before but he got it right in Saumur.”

Graham Fletcher says . . .

“A group of riders was discussing the lack of an all-weather surface at Windsor this year when one suggested that planning permission might have been a problem.

” “Well how did they get planning permission for that?” asked Steven Whitaker, pointing up at the historic Windsor castle.

“[On a more serious note] all those complaining that our sport does not look after owners and sponsors were surely shocked to see them standing shivering in the rain at Windsor.”

Willy Poole says . . .

“Discipline is almost a dirty word, smacking as it does of anal retention and negative vibes. We need more of it and the world would be a better place.

“You may argue about this if you wish, but you cannot argue that discipline is a vital necessity for hounds and children alike.

“An ill-disciplined pack of hounds is a disaster waiting to happen; ill-disciplined children are a disaster than has already happened.”

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