1. Competing against the pros
In her column this week, top dressage rider and trainer Pammy Hutton talks about issues that can reduce the fun factor at competitions, pointing out that although it is hard to try to please everyone, the enjoyment for amateur riders can be reduced, and frustration increased, by the presence of international riders in novice classes, not to mention the perception that only “mega horses” qualify for championships.
2. The return of the London International Horse Show
With just days to go with the return of the show formerly held at Olympia, excitement is rising. The event has strict rules in place to mitigate against the spread of Covid, and a host of top international riders set to compete at the highest level of their sport.
Spectators will enjoy World Cup dressage, showjumping and driving, as well as the traditional Christmas finale, at the ExCel London, where the top 40 native ponies in the country will also be strutting their stuff.
3. Crossing disciplines
Three-time champion Flat jockey Oisin Murphy had already shown his showjumping form at one of the UK’s biggest events, the Royal International Horse Show, by coming second in the international arena in July. He has now been jumping in Spain and although he only intended to compete in 1.10m classes, and maybe a 1.20m, has this month already notched up two double clears, and his first international win, at 1.30m level.
“I was told exactly where to go and how fast, so I just tried to ride to instructions,” he told H&H. “It’s a great buzz – very different, but a great thrill all the same.”
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