Show jumper Tim Stockdale, 43, will be unwinding post-Olympia with a family-orientated Christmas at his Northamptonshire base, but there’s no escaping the horses.

“All my staff get Christmas Day off so I get up and give the horses a quick muck out and feed — we try to give them fresh beds the night before so there’s not so much to do.

“I’m back in the house by 9am and spend the rest of the morning watching my two boys, Joseph and Mark, open their presents.

“At about 12.30pm I go back out to feed the horses before having a traditional Christmas dinner. My wife Laura’s parents and their partners also come around so it’s a full house.
“I hate the afternoon because at around 3.30pm, when it’s getting dark, I have to go back out and do the horses.

“Christmas Day alternates between Christmas and the horses, even they have a day off! Horses, Christmas, horses, Christmas. I tend to collapse in a chair at about 6.30pm before doing the late check at 8pm. I love Christmas and for me it is all about watching the boys open their presents — the horses are just a pain in the arse.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (8 November, ’07)