13 of the ultimate collecting ring bugbears

When it comes to the tense world of collecting ring politics, here’s what we would put in Room 101...

1. The swarm of professional riders who swan in and sabotage your allotted start time, for which you have been delicately priming your one and only ride for a rare shot at success. You end up jumping 45 minutes after you were scheduled, your horse is bored and tired and hence knocks four poles down.

2. Supporters that stand in collecting rings. You wonder what the reason could be for them floating around in there? Stand the other side of the fence, head to the viewing area, stands or café — anywhere but in the ring.

3. On the subject of standing still, anyone mounted and stationary in a small indoor warm up while adjusting stirrups/girth/clothing/blowing their nose/putting in a bacon sarnie order to their loyal supporters. Can we make this illegal?

4. That moment the pro-rider’s groom claims total ownership of the practice jump for their rider and repeatedly steps in to put it up when you’ve called that you are on the approach to that fence, forcing you to circle away for the umpteenth time that day.

5. When you’re one stride any from the practice jump, committed to your take off stride and someone (either on foot or riding) decides to walk across on the landing side. Eeek!

6. When two riders walk two abreast around the small indoor warm-up, blocking both the outer and inner track — then look daggers at you when you nearly clip the inside rider’s stirrup as you ride past.

7. (Selective) blindness for your horse’s red ribbon — proceeded by the rage when your horse kicks out as they career up behind it…

8. The rider who insists on using the collecting ring as their personal training session.

9. Fellow riders using your horse as a tool to stop their own, running right up behind us. Your heart rate was sufficiently high as it was.

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11. People jumping 2ft bigger than they need to in the warm-up. There are no rosettes to be won here…

12. Riders with voices so loud you wonder whether they’ve considered a career in commentating.

13. And finally… The rider who has (allegedly) never heard of left-to-left

What would you add to this list when it comes to collecting ring bugbears? Let us know below…