While most of the country was gearing up for some New Year merriment, showjumper Robert Smith and his new wife Raffaelle were enjoying their own celebrations, having just welcomed the birth of their new son Harvey Robert Smith.
“We’re all doing well,” Robert told H&H this week. “I’m not really a nappy changer, but I’m sure I’ll be tricked into doing it at some point!
“We didn’t know if we were expecting a boy or a girl — of course he’s named after my Dad but it was a name we both really liked, too.”
Young Harvey made a dramatic entrance — four days late — while Robert was preparing to compete in the first day’s classes at the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.
“It was an eventful day — I was all ready to go and jump!” said 55-year-old Robert, who, after seeing the arrival of his 8lb 1oz son just after five o’clock in the afternoon, returned to the show to finish eighth in the evening’s 1.50m speed class with his mare Bavi.
The elated Warwickshire-based rider went on to secure two runner-up spots with Cimano E and Ilton and finish fourth in Monday’s grand prix riding Bavi.
Robert already has four children — Rae, Chloe, Eliza and Archie — and the birth of baby Harvey sealed a momentous month for his parents, who also tied the knot on 1 December.
Robert’s father Harvey is one of the best known showjumpers of all time, having competed at two Olympic Games and won countless grands prix. He now trains racehorses in Yorkshire with his wife Sue, winning the Grand National with Auroras Encore in 2013.
We wish Robert and Raffaelle our congratulations — and good luck with those sleepless nights!
Don’t miss the full report from the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (5 January), on sale now