Showjumpers swapped saddles for spoons and four legs for three in a “jumpkhana” in Kent yesterday (31 May).
The event, combining unaffiliated showjumping with gymkhana games, was run by Teza Engelfield at Blue Barn EC in Kent.
There were “normal” jumping classes on the schedule, including Sunshine Tour qualifiers, but the others were on slightly different lines.
Competitors took on an egg and spoon challenge — a round of jumps followed by a dismounted egg-carry — a post-jumping bending race, a walk, trot and canter and pairs jumping classes followed by a wheelbarrow race or a three-legged sprint, against the clock.
Apple bobbing was out, owing to Covid restrictions, but pairs from one household were allowed.
“It was funny,” Teza told H&H. “People loved it. They hadn’t done it before and didn’t really understand; they thought it was jumping and gymkhana events but we incorporated both. The wheelbarrow and three-legged races were the best.”
Teza came up with the idea when she used to run shows at Norton Heath in Essex.
Riders and farriers joined helped raise £6,000 with a charity adult gymkhana
As a discipline, mounted games is highly competitive, with many riders and teams battling for the top spots. Chrissie Mayes
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“We used to run fun shows and we’d done all the fancy dress and bareback challenges, and wanted to think of something different,” she said. “I loved doing gymkhanas as a kid, and I said ‘What about a jumpkhana?’ and people said ‘That’s brilliant’.”
The plan is to run more jumpkhana events this summer, maybe with a barbecue on offer, and with hopes of raising money for good causes at the same time.
“Everyone asked when the next one was, and as we’ve got photos and video from this time, we can advertise it so people can actually see what it is, and the fun we had,” Teza said. “Who knows, it might take off and I’ll have to start a national jumpkhana association!”
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