There isn’t much that Geoff Billington doesn’t know about the sport of showjumping and horsemanship in general. So when he was spotted competing at South View last Tuesday (6 February) using overreach boots on the hind legs of one of his horses, we had to ask the question… Why?
Geoff was riding in one of the show’s Blue Chip qualifiers on board Kewi Connection, a 10-year-old mare by Contendro I, who he first paired up with two seasons ago. The mare is owned by BS Area 22 representative Katie McCreath, and when Geoff first took the reins, he found her rather difficult to ride.
“She would often shoot away from my leg and get disunited on the corners,” explains 52-year-old Geoff. “We couldn’t work why she was doing this and then thought she might have been catching herself behind, so we put overreach boots over her hind feet.”
According to Geoff, the pair have turned a corner since solving the frustrating problem — and even picked up a Blue Chip qualification ticket at the show when finishing second to John Garton-Pope (Eldorado Velvet) in the Dynamic B&C.
“It might attract a few strange looks at shows, but it’s solved the problem as she’s a lot more balanced and level now,” said Geoff, who represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games and won team bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 1998 on It’s Otto.
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Don’t miss the full report on all the action from this show at South View, including the Blue Chip qualifiers, in this week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 15 February.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday