The £150 “jumping machine” became a household name and propelled Pat Smythe into superstar status, discovers Pippa Cuckson
WORDS like “superstar” and “celebrity” are readily bandied around nowadays. Pat Smythe truly earned those accolades, in post-war days when it was unusual for girls to trounce men at their own game.
Pat’s fame was buoyed by unprecedented newspaper fascination in showjumping, and from Pathé newsreels shown in cinemas. She met Generalissimo Franco, the Pope, Hollywood star Danny Kaye and dined with the ex-King of England, the Duke of Windsor.
Pat won more grands prix than anyone else of her generation, even though women were excluded from many in the early 1950s.
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