British sporting equestrians must be going off on their Christmas break feeling pretty damn smug. Number ones in all Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, World medals all over the shop, and records broken — most recently by Charlotte Dujardin. As years go, not too shabby.

We have some excellent people involved in the running of our sports, and gifted experts helping our athletes to the top. We have owners with the money and the will to purchase, or to refrain from selling, horses who make their names with British riders.

And we have athletes prepared to work incredibly hard to achieve great things for their country. It’s only when you mix up all of the above, and add a pinch of magic, that you get performances like the one Valegro pulled off last Wednesday night.

I believe the magic comes from Charlotte’s mentor Carl Hester. There are others who work as hard, who have as much luck, and who have even better support, but he has the Midas touch.

2014 hasn’t all been about triumph, but it’s Christmas, and so this comment is brought to you in the style of Love Actually. There’s always time for reality and Roly Owers (cheif executive of World Horse Welfare) covers one such concern more eloquently than I would anyway in this week’s magazine (25 December).

From all of us at H&H, have a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the 12th hour, a subscription (perhaps to Horse & Hound) is the only answer…

➤ Here’s the best deal: www.magazinesdirect.com/BUL4

Ref: Horse & Hound; 25 December 2014