This week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (11 January 2017) is dedicated to nostalgia: those great idols of yesteryear — both human and equine — as well as those shows that no longer exist, but hold a special place in our memories.
Here Pippa Cuckson looks back at the appeal of dressage at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex…
When the 10th Duke and Duchess of Richmond handed the Goodwood Estate to their motorsport-orientated son in 1993, he soon dug up the equestrian surfaces in front of the historic Goodwood house — a seminal moment for UK dressage.
Goodwood had staged the 1978 World Championships — where Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Dutch Courage won individual bronze — and the 1980 “alternative Olympics”, following the political boycott of Moscow.
“It was our shop window — nothing has attracted the very top Europeans here in quite the same numbers since,” says Jennie. “The foreigners loved Goodwood’s ‘oldie-worldy’ Britishness. There was the backdrop, the generous hospitality, and everyone loved the stables, a beautiful stone courtyard where you could see everyone — we certainly used to talk to each other more.”
Security was minimal. “We were allowed to ride off-piste” says Jennie. “‘Bill’ was a bit wild on the first day of the worlds, so I took him up to the racecourse gallops to let off steam. Next day, he was eighth in the grand prix, then third in the special!”
We rewind the clock 52 years to 1967 when the pint-sized Stroller clinched the Hickstead Derby title...
The South Downs are notorious for sudden weather fronts. Granat, Christine Stückelberger’s world and Olympic champion, once bolted back to Goodwood stables after a battering from giant hailstones.
“I didn’t see it as I was sheltering under a tree with my daughter Anne,” says Jennie. “But we could all hear Christine’s screams!”
For more memories from the shows of yesteryear — including eventing at Wylye and showjumping at Arena North — don’t miss this week’s “nostalgia special” of Horse & Hound magazine (11 January 2017), where we also take a look back at the celebrity status of the likes of Lucinda Green, and remember why Stroller was such a hero