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Age is just a number: 73-year-old inspires others with showjumping success

A 73-year-old has shown that age is just a number by winning an affiliated showjumping class at the weekend.

Malcolm Mason of Carlisle, took victory in a 90cm open on JG’s Firebird, (Katie) at Greenlands Equestrian Centre on Saturday (10 November).

Malcolm, who has formerly ridden at 1.40m level, told H&H: “I rode a little as a youngster but I never had my own horse. I used to exercise horses for the local hunt, but then I took a break and followed a career as a professional musician.

“After I retired around 50, my daughter and I got a horse to share between us but it wasn’t long before we decided we needed one each. When I was 52 I bought an unbacked three-year-old and trained it him up to grade A, jumping 1.40 classes.”

Over the past 15 years Malcolm has enjoyed retraining former racehorses and recently took on the ride of nine-year-old hunter Katie, owned by Keith Ferguson.

“I had previously ridden Katie a few years ago. Keith’s daughter jumped her last year but his daughter is now pregnant and unable to jump. Last week Katie was out hunting with the Cumberland farmers being ridden by the whipper-in, but the hunt was cancelled this weekend so I was asked if I wanted to jump her. This was the first time I’ve had her out and we won the 90cm open section,” said Malcolm.

Malcolm said he has no plans to slow down when it comes to showjumping, has just renewed his British Showjumping membership and plans to keep jumping Katie and his own former racehorse Gabrial.

Malcolm’s wife Joanne, 52, said she is very proud of Malcom’s achievements.

“Malcolm going out showjumping is just normal to us because he does it so often, but it wasn’t until I put a post online about his win and it made us think there’s no one his age we know doing that near us,” Joanne told H&H.



“I think he’s amazing. We’ve been shocked by the response from people online. He seems to be inspiring a lot of older people which is good.”

Malcolm and Joanne, who have been married for four and a half years, said there is no competitive rivalry between them.

“I prefer to do hacking and lessons rather than jumping, but we ride out together all the time and often go to the beach together,” said Joanne.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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