TV addict horse jumps to victory

  • Irish showjumper Shane Sweetnam and the great mare Solerina are in flying form at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida at the moment. So what’s been the secret to the mare’s success? She’s been glued to the television.

    “She is very funny about the jumbotron [giant video display in the ring] — that is her big thing,” says Shane, who decided to help combat her fear by placing a TV screen in her stable at shows.

    Every evening, while many in the UK are putting their feet up in front of Eastenders or TOWIE, 15-year-old Solerina can be found glued to re-runs of the showjumping from Spruce Meadows — sussing out the opposition and possibly picking up some winning tips while she’s at it.

    “I’d better get the Winter Equestrian Festival video — maybe that will work better,” says Shane.

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