Nicole Pavitt: Our show centres need our support *H&H VIP*

Opinion

The British Showjumping (BS) Spring Championships were my first visit to Addington since last year and it was great to be greeted by a bright and welcoming venue — Chris Parker has clearly put the effort in to sprucing it up, and the fresh paint and new arena surface really made a difference.

I didn’t go on a tour this year, so I needed to get the horses out and about, so I thought this show was a great opportunity.

Running outdoor classes alongside the indoor schedule this year helped to get the numbers up — it was nice to have the chance to bring younger horses to jump outside when the older ones were contesting finals.

Having the chance to qualify at the show was also a good thing — while you could argue that it reduces the prestige of qualifiers, it was brilliant for someone like me who hadn’t planned on coming earlier in the year.

It also keeps the entries high for the finals, and there were 12-14 making it through to the jump-offs. I think those kinds of classes are much more exciting for spectators and its nice for the sponsors too when there is some action.

Thefts mar show

It was a shame, after a good show, to hear about the saddles being stolen — I had it happen to me about six or seven years ago at the Welsh Masters and I stopped using lorry tack lockers after that.

It’s always a shock when these things happen when you think you’re among friends — we’re surrounded by the same people week in, week out and we’re all meant to be in it together.

Needing support

We need our show centres in the UK, we’ve lost so many over the years. Addington, at hours’ drive from me, is one of my three remaining “local” centres. At foreign shows they get grants, whereas UK venues are slapped with rates, which is one of the reasons we struggle a little bit.

When people make an effort, as they did here, it’s important to show them your support, so I was pleased for Chris to see the numbers already climbing.

Ref Horse & Hound; 4 April 2019

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