The consummate horsewoman followed up a Badminton win with a stellar showjumping career, and was shortlisted for the Olympics in all three disciplines, writes Martha Terry
It is a phenomenal CV. Imagine if one of today’s top event riders ticked Badminton and Burghley victories off their list and proceeded to turn their talent to the world of international showjumping, racking up dozens of grand prix wins, a European Championship, seven Derbies and the high jump record. Comparisons across the eras may be arbitrary but Anneli Drummond-Hay’s list of achievements is unsurpassed in any generation.
Her aristocratic heritage, her super-horse Merely-A-Monarch and her jet-setting lifestyle among a glamorous elite at a time when only football held sway over showjumping on primetime TV, implies a silver-spoon upbringing. But the true tale of how Anneli became one of the sport’s biggest and most enduring names – the first to secure commercial sponsorship, the only rider ever to be shortlisted for the Olympics in all three disciplines – is far grittier.