H&H columnists’ have their say

  • William Fox-Pitt says . . .

    “The main issue to come out of Badminton is that the aim should be to produce a level playing field, as far as possible, throughout cross-country day.

    “Fences that require precision riding are here to stay, but if that means everyone will take off in the same spot, consideration must be given as to whether the ground can sustain that pressure.

    “It’s time for all-weather take-offs and landings at all fences.”

    Stuart Hollings says . . .

    “My fellow professionals should be made aware . . . it is illegal to accept ANY form of payment for transporting horses without an operators’ licence and the correct hire and reward insurance.

    “Horsebox owners could have their vehicles impounded by the vehicle inspectorate and then scrapped or sold.

    “It can even be argued that anyone who has a sponsorship banner or who advertises their own name on the side of the horsebox will need an operators’ licence.”

    Jane Kidd says . . .

    “As most of Britain’s top grand prix horses were performing in the seniorselection trial [at Addington Manor’s Premier League], we saw a broad spectrum of neck carriages from compressed ones to the rather low, balancing on the reins.

    “The top three horses at the selection trial are all wonderful athletes and as a result are more difficult to balance. Nevertheless, good training, strengthening physiques and match practice are taking them closer to the carriage that indicates an excellent way of going.”

    Pammy Hutton says . . .

    “Spending a day or two at competitions, I settled down to watch hands. There were hands pulling backwards, tugging hands, energetically flapping hands and stiff wrists.

    “Also in evidence were upside down hands with thumbs anywhere but on top and with fingers clenched tightly around the reins.

    “My hands are by no means perfect [but] there isnot a day when I ride that I do not try to improve them.”

    Ian Balding says . . .

    “The reason girls cannot really compete with men [on the racecourse, as they do in sports like eventing] is that riding a racehorse is as much about bodily strength as horsemanship.

    “In the first part of a race, a lot of strength is necessary to hold a racehorse, which is usually pulling hard. Then in the second half of a race, a jockey must squeeze and drive the horse along to achieve maximum speed.

    “How can a girl have the same power as a Frankie Dettori?”

  • Do you agree with the columnists’ views? Why not have your say in the HHO forum or write to: The Editor, Horse & Hound, Kings Reach Tower, Stamford Street, London, SE1 9LS
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