I feel for my teammate Bertram Allen who annihilated the opposition to “win” the grand prix at Olympia, the London International Horse Show.
The general consensus among the top riders was that the FEI rule needs to be reviewed regarding mandatory disqualification. In my view, over zealous stewarding compounded by some apathetic actions brought the sport and this great show into the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
Olympia is one of my favourite shows. My top horse Good Luck is in quarantine so I rode two horses borrowed from my students. Coco II went clear in Saturday’s 1.55m and I was very pleased with Super Sox (pictured top), who finished sixth in the Longines FEI World Cup leg. It’s his first season at this level, so he’s still learning — the ring at Olympia is tight and the jumps come up fast.
The surface is like a trampoline and the horses jump so well on it. The World Cup produced 17 clears in the first round. Course-designer Bernardo Costa Cabral may wish he had gone wider with some of the oxers — we competitors may say there were too many clears, but for the paying spectators it was a thrilling conclusion.
You may pick up bigger prize money at other five star shows, but the exposure you get from competing at Olympia — via the BBC and Eurosport— can offer superior spin-offs, which is great for both riders and owners.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full report from Olympia, the London International Horse Show in 24 December magazine.
H&H 24 December