‘I wanted a bit of balance’: meet the young rider combining five-star shows with a job in property

  • Competing in the prestigious Land Rover-sponsored under-25 classes at the five-star CHI Geneva this week is one of the sport’s rising stars, 18-year-old British showjumper Red Morgan.

    The Cheshire rider has represented his country on numerous teams as he’s progressed through the levels, most recently at this year’s junior European championships with his top horse Golia. But this level-headed teenager, who left school in July, has recently started work in the property business, managing to combine his job with top flight showjumping.

    “I wanted to have a bit of balance between the horses and a different profession,” says Red when we caught up with him at the CHI Geneva.

    “I left school in July – I had a place at university but I didn’t really want to go, so I decided to go into property as my dad’s in property, too – and I started work about six weeks ago.

    “So I work Monday to Wednesday and I just have the two horses at home at the moment, so it’s manageable. But they can be lunged or have a day off while I work, and Joe my groom hacks them. Then I can fly to different shows or I can just ride at home from Thursday to Sunday.

    “So at the moment I’m not sure if becoming a professional showjumper is the route I’ll take, but it’s good to have something separate, it’s the best of both worlds, it’s brilliant,” he says.

    Red rode the 11-year-old Bustique gelding Golia to four faults in Saturday’s (10 December) prestigious Land Rover grand prix for the under 25-year-olds, won by French rider Alexis Goulet on Calla after a 13-way jump-off.

    “It was a good round, but just not quite clear – but it’s my first time here and it’s amazing,” says Red, who will now travel back to the UK to contest the Voltaire Design under-25 British Championship at the London International Horse Show on Thursday (15 December).

    “It’s great that they put on these under-25 classes at these five-star shows. It’s nice to be able to experience what these top guys experience. It’s a pleasure to be here.”

    Red Morgan also proved that perseverance pays off when it comes to competing at five-star shows such as the world famous CHI Geneva, which hosts the Rolex Grand Slam on Sunday and the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, which was won this year by Henrik von Eckermann and the all-conquering King Edward.

    “I actually just emailled the organiser, then a friend helped me as well, but I kept emailing and asking if they could let me in [for the under-25 classes] and I got in eventually!” he says.

    His plans for the future?

    “I’d like to jump the young rider Europeans for the next couple of years and just see how we get on,” says the hard-working teenager.

    Watch this space.

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