MP backs return of Richmond show

  • Dr Jenny Tonge, Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, has intervened to ensure that the Royal Richmond Horse Show, one of Britain’s oldest, is reinstated for 2005.

    The MP has written to Tessa Jowell, minister for culture, media and sport, to express her “strongest dissatisfaction” with Crown Estates, which owns the site where the show has traditionally taken place.

    The show was postponed for the second year running this February, following a delay by Crown Estates granting permission to use Richmond’s Old Deer Park — the event’s traditional venue.

    However, a meeting between the Crown Estates, Richmond-upon-Thames borough council and the show’s organiser Ian Cook took place recently and a five-year plan for the show has been drawn up.

    “We discussed the 2005 show, and all sides agreed that the current difficulties can be resolved,” explains Crown Estates spokesperson Giles French.

    The Royal Richmond Horse Show was started in 1892 by local vet WJ Hatton and grew into a major equestrian event. It became part of the South of England show in 1967, but was revived in the 1990s by local residents.

    The show has been instrumental in the success of some of Britain’s greatest riders, including former Richmond resident Pat Smythe.

  • Read the full story in the current issue of Horse & Hound (29 April).

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