Ballaghmor Class in winning form, rider weight debate, and more things the horse world is talking about

  • Olympic stars kick off 2022 eventing season

    The Tokyo Olympic team gold medal-winning partnership of Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class made a winning start to their 2022 season. The pair scored a new personal best in the dressage of 18.9, and took top honours in an open intermediate (OI) section at Poplar Park (5 March). Oliver also won the other OI class with Swallow Springs, previously campaigned by Andrew Nicholson. “Ballaghmor Class felt very fresh and pleased to be out,” said Oliver. “He did a really nice test, showjumped very well and breezed round the cross-country with very little effort at all – he was never at the races.”

    Catch up on the action on the opening day of the 2022 British eventing season

    Rider size and age

    The discussion surrounding rider size and weight in showing continues, with H&H columnist Julie Templeton sharing her thoughts on the topic and raising a point regarding consistency.

    “There are two key elements that need to be addressed head-on, yet they seem to have been swept under the carpet. First, why is it that only plaited pony classes are being targeted? If rules on rider size and weight are to be brought in, which I agree with, these should be brought in across all classes, including the mountain and moorlands and horses,” she says.

    Read more about Julie’s thoughts on the rider size and weight debate

    Santini parading with Beaufort hounds

    Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Santini parading at the Beaufort point-to-point

    Santini (pictured, left) parading with the Beaufort hounds at Didmarton.

    Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Santini delighted crowds at the Beaufort point-to-point at Didmarton on Saturday (5 March). He paraded with the Beaufort hounds, with trainer Polly Gundry in the saddle, as part of a freshen-up ahead of the big race next Friday (18 March) and to highlight the important link between pointing, hunting and National Hunt racing. “He loves going to parties and he loves a trip out,” said Polly.

    Learn about Santini’s preparation for the Cheltenham Gold Cup

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