Sarah Jenkins: A win-win for all?

Congratulations to former international showjumper Di Lampard, who has been appointed as British showjumping’s new performance manager.

Word in the equestrian world is that she is a well-liked choice for the job. As popular, that is, as anyone new to a role can be.

Despite having leading rider Scott Brash on our side, the sport has appeared in a muddle of late, with outgoing manager Rob Hoekstra being backed by the British Equestrian Federation for the remainder of his contract — shortly before vacating it prematurely.

We cannot forget Rob led the team to glory in London 2012, but it is nerve-racking that we are yet to qualify for Rio 2016.

Di’s credentials as a sportswoman leave many feeling confident that if anyone can turn the team’s fortunes back to the glory days it is perhaps she. Being respected at all levels, I hope Di’s leadership will also help enthuse the public once more.

With an overview of H&H magazine and website, I see Scott Brash’s wins do not elicit the same enthusiasm as Charlotte Dujardin’s — which is puzzling given that both are top of their sports.

I wonder if the increasing sums of sponsorship being poured into prize money for showjumping — no doubt a great thing for those making their living from the circuit — is alienating it from the equestrian masses, though Formula One doesn’t seem to suffer the same way.

Whatever the cause, I would hope Di’s willingness to work with the media and her ability to talk to all equestrians would see renewed support to match further success — a win, win for all.

Ref: Horse & Hound; 5 February 2015