Pippa Funnell and Nick Skelton to train jockeys for London showjumping contest

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  • Superstar jockeys with more than 16,000 winners between them are set to go head to head for a title with a difference over a showjumping course set by eventing chef d’equipe Dickie Waygood at London International Horse Show.

    The ever-popular Markel Jockeys Jumping, a team competition in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), returns in the evening performance on Monday, 18 December, at this year’s show.

    IJF president Sir AP McCoy (pictured, top) and Tom Scudamore will captain the two teams, with trainers Nick Skelton and Pippa Funnell on hand to offer tactics ahead of and during the competition.

    Leading Flat jockeys including Jim Crowley, who names London International his “favourite event of the year”, Ryan Moore and James Doyle are among those already on the line-up. Joanna Mason and Saffie Osborne, a multiple youth medal-winning event rider who competed at advanced before focusing on racing, are also confirmed.

    Saffie is currently out of action as she recovers from a knee injury and is hoping to make a return to the saddle for the class.

    Top jump jockeys confirmed so far include reigning champion Bryan Hughes, no stranger to showjumping arenas Harry Skelton, and Harry Cobden – a star in his profession up for a new challenge having “never jumped a course of showjumps in his life”.

    Juliet Redfern, head of equine insurance at Markel, said: “Markel is delighted to be sponsoring this fabulous event again and supporting a charity that looks after its own so well.

    “As a specialist equine insurer, we are committed to supporting the wider equine industry through such charitable initiatives, and this is one of our favourite events.”

    • What are your favourite memories of the London International Horse Show? Send your thoughts to hhletters@futurenet.com, including your name, nearest town and country, and for the chance for your letter to appear in the magazine

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