Over this festive season, we are shining a light on up-and-coming talent across the equestrian disciplines. These are riders you really need to keep an eye out for during the 2021 season...
Lancashire showjumper Robert Murphy has only just turned 20 but is one of this country’s rising stars.
Born with showjumping genes — his father Peter and mother Eleni both rode internationally — Robert has been a prolifc winner through the pony ranks but now has his heart set on selection for the 2021 young rider European Championships.
“That would be the main aim,” he says and, like many riders, plans to start his campaign on the Sunshine Tour in Spain in the new year.
Robert’s parents have obviously been a huge influence on him, but he says a stint working for Nick Skelton at the age of just 14 proved hugely beneficial.
“I went to Florida with him and worked for him for three weeks and it was really good to see how he manages his business and horses,” says Robert.
He has an impressive string of horses with which to contest classes next year.
“Highcross Violet is turning 10 next year and she’s jumped well in all the grands prix that we managed to jump this year and she jumped a lot of world ranking classes in Spain,” says Robert.
“The other one I have for the bigger classes is Elan and he’s 12 next year. He’s actually quite new — we bought him around this time last year — and he started to come into form in Spain and won quite a lot of 1.30m classes, then he stepped up to jump a rankings class at the end of that Tour. He had a good run of grands prix and jumped clear in quite a few of them.”
High Quality (Quality Time x Carthino Z) is another mare turning nine next year.
“I’ll try to push her up to jumping 1.40m consistently next year,” explains Robert. “Then there’s It’s Me, a seven-year-old, turning eight next year, and he’ll probably do the second rounds — the Foxhunter and the newcomers.”
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Robert picked up a string of good results in Spain before lockdown but went on to finish second in the young rider championships at Bolesworth in the summer riding Elan, as well as several good placings at the British Showjumping Indoor Finals at Aintree and the premier show there shortly after.
Watch this space — Robert Murphy is a definitely going places.
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