Former British team rider Tim Gredley has made a return to international showjumping — three years after he last set foot at a horse show.
The 33-year-old represented Great Britain at the world showjumping championships in 2006 and was part of the Nations Cup team that won the Aga Khan trophy in Dublin in 2008, but retired from showjumping in 2016.
He has since forged a successful career as a point-to-point jockey, as well as continuing to pursue his family business commitments with the Unex Group. But he was lured back to the showjumping arena earlier this year and finished in the money in the CSI2* classes at last weekend’s Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) of London (2-4 August), despite his lack of match practice.
Tim was filling in for his sister Polly, who had jumped the London leg of the LGCT for the past few years but is now pregnant.
“She keeps her horses at Paul McAteer’s, so I was jumping one of hers, Arantos, who I used to ride, and one that Paul kindly lent me,” said Tim, who no longer has horses at home and has only tackled “a couple of 1.15m classes” at shows to get back into gear.
“I only meant to do the 1.15m classes in London, but Paul kept revving me up and I ended up having Paul’s horse Ninkie De Vy Z in the grand prix. I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I hadn’t ridden him before and went straight into a 1.30m, but we gelled pretty quickly — other than in the grand prix, he didn’t have a fence down all week.”
Tim Gredley has decided to give up showjumping to concentrate on running the family business Unex Group
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Tim said the experience at the “amazing” show had given him “the buzz back”. He is now hoping to jump at some county shows before the end of the season before possibly looking to compete abroad.
“I know not all shows are quite like this one, but I am planning to get a couple of horses and see where we go,” said Tim, who married Sky Sports presenter Rachel Wyse in January. “I haven’t been to a horse show for three years and I was impressed at the level of horses competing in the two-star classes and how professional it has become.”
Don’t miss the full report from the London leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour in this week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 8 August.