Legendary rider still ‘as competitive as ever’ at the age of 82

Legendary rider Anneli Drummond-Hay is still competing in equestrian events – and still competitive – at the age of 82.

The former top eventer and showjumper, who won both Badminton and the first Burghley as well as the Hickstead Derby and a host of other top showjumping classes, was caught on camera at Burlington Stables, in Midrand, South Africa, on Sunday (14 April).

The stables’ Anne-Marie Esslinger told H&H Anneli is “quite amazing”.

“She competes in the 1m and 1.10m classes and she’s as competitive as ever,” she said.

“She jokes that the total age of herself and her horse Apollo is 100 years.”

The stables runs monthly showjumping shows, as well as a national event towards the end of each year, with classes from 90cm to 1.40m.

“Anneli supports quite a few of the shows,” Ms Esslinger said. “She brought this horse back from Europe with her and she likes to get good tickets – she always gives it a go in the jump-off.”

“I’m 61 and still riding,” Ms Esslinger added. “Ijump the bigger classes and a lot of the younger riders say they can’t believe I’m still doing it, and I say I won’t be when I’m her age!

“She enjoys it, and her horse is as happy as Larry.”

Article continues below…



Anneli is most famous for her partnership with Merely-A-Monarch, with whom she took both Badminton and Burghley. The combination then switched to showjumping, winning grands prix across the world, jumping on Nations Cups teams and winning the Rome, Geneva and Berlin derbies as well as Hickstead.

She also won European Championships gold and was shortlisted for the 1964 Olympics.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday. In the current edition (18 April), don’t miss our summer vet special, including features on colic, tendon injuries, an essential guide to bandaging, arthritis and much more. Read our horses for sale special’ on how to find the right horse for you, plus ensuring a successful sale and more.