David Cole: Why the low numbers? *H&H VIP*

  • First, I should like to congratulate all the riders at Forest Edge for some really high-quality sport. I felt like going and thanking them at the end of each of the three days because I enjoyed every class. The atmosphere was great and the standard of jumping was excellent. I built every course up to height and they made them look easy.

    The only downside was that the numbers were much lower than the organisers hoped. Why was this? There was terrific prize money on offer and the classes meant that this was a Development Classic in everything but name. There were also fun classes such as a puissance, take-your-own-line and accumulator that riders don’t often get the chance to enter.

    So what went wrong? The Hartpury Spectacular attracted many top names and Addington also hosted a three-day show this weekend, so perhaps there was too much choice and not enough riders at a higher level to go round. I know some locals were upset that there weren’t any smaller classes at Forest Edge, but the rules say that category-three shows aren’t allowed to run classes under 1.10m. Maybe that’s something that could be looked at by British Showjumping so that organisers can put on a show to attract big names and also cater for their regulars. However, it was a shame that not more spectators arrived at this show — the classes were well worth watching.

    This wasn’t a new show — I’ve been designing here for many years — so it was a shame that not more competitors turned up. If it runs again next year — and I really hope it does — get it
    in your diaries early. The facilities are good enough and it’s worth the trip.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 15 December 2016