A sad farewell to a top horse and other things the equestrian world is talking about

  • “Thank you, my soul mate”

    A five-star eventer who was bought for $2,000 (£1,575) off the racecourse and who changed his rider’s life has died aged 18. Canadian rider Holly Jacks-Smither bought More Inspiration as a four-year-old as a project but could not sell him. He went on to represent Canada with Holly, and competed at five-star level. “My $2,000 sales investment who I couldn’t sell, stuck around to change my life,” she said. “It was a hell of a ride, buddy.”

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    Going spurless

    A rider who is thought to be the first to compete at the highest level of international dressage without spurs said she is delighted to have shown it is possible. Justina Vanagaite, from Lithuania, chose to ride Nabab at Doha CDI5* without spurs, which FEI rules now allow. They came third in the freestyle with 75.75%. She told H&H she is delighted spurs are optional, which allows riders to choose what suits each individual horse.

    Read the full story

    Speaking up

    In her H&H column this week, dressage rider Anna Ross talks about the need for constructive dialogue to ensure the future of the sport, and for a safe space for riders, judges and trainers to be heard. She said dressage is “reeling” from recent video of horse abuse, and asks why so few people are speaking up. “The uncomfortable truth is that for years the subjective nature of dressage has resulted in a culture of silence,” she says. “Some competitors believe that if they upset the wrong people their scores may be affected. Therefore, they only voice their opinions once their sporting careers are over.”

    Read Anna’s full column

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