Sale of Olympic horse, cost of dressage and other things the horse world is talking about

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. Olympic showjumper sold

    Hot on the heels of the sale of Charlotte Dujardin’s British Olympic team and individual bronze medallist Gio to Annabella Pidgley, British showjumper Holly Smith’s Olympic partner Denver, owned by Ian Dowie, has been sold to French rider Sadri Fegaier. Holly told H&H that the phone had been “red-hot” since their remarkable performance at the CSI5* World Cup show in Lyon, France, last month where she and Denver were placed in all three feature classes. “[Selling horses] is part of my job – it always has been and for the foreseeable future always will be,” said Holly. “Ian Dowie and I always had Denver with the plan to produce him to sell on, but he just never stopped improving.”

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    Holly Smith and Denver jumping in the Olympic team showjumping final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

    2. Cost of British Dressage

    Most riders will pay £5 more for British Dressage (BD) membership next year as the organisation seeks to fill the Covid shaped hole in its finances. Full (competing) membership prices will rise by £5 from 1 January 2022, taking the cost to £95 per year, or £8.50/month for those paying monthly. Nobody ever really wants to pay more for anything, but this is the first increase in membership prices in three years, and the organisation also offered membership extensions during the pandemic.

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    a horse working in an indoor arena wearing protective boots

    3. The 93-year-old learning to ride

    A rider who got into the saddle for the first time aged 93, on a 31-year-old “one in a million” mare, enjoyed every minute, waved like The Queen and enjoyed a large glass of wine afterwards. That’s our kind of day. Melita Richardson, known as Lita, has proved it’s never too late to find out the benefits horses bring – she decided she wanted to learn to ride, so Summer McBeth, activities coordinator at Eighton Lodge residential home in Gateshead, made it happen.

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