It’s a great era for showjumping and it’s been a privilege to be able to help celebrate the sport in my role as guest editor of Horse & Hound.
Our initial planning meeting took place in December and the team have been hard at work ever since, researching and writing about my various proposals for this issue.
But the fact that we interviewed McLain Ward in Florida on Wednesday evening last week, and the resulting feature (p26) was ready to go to press in London less than 36hr later, proves just how fast the turnarounds need to be on a weekly magazine — it was quite an eye-opener.
It’s been interesting to read that I’m not the only rider with my doubts about the World Cup final four format (p34), but it’s sad to see that my query regarding struggling show centres (p30) seems to be coming to fruition with the news (p11) of two closures this week.
Media coverage is essential for the sport and helps highlight the enormous commitment that owners and sponsors, for example, make to its success. Just look at the huge sum of money Scott Brash won in Florida (report, p40) — and his tribute to his connections for his success is absolutely spot on.
Between him and Ben Maher, they’ve pretty much ruled the Florida circuit for the past 12 weeks. They’ve been streets ahead of the rest of them and they’re riding at the very top of the game.
It’s going to be an exciting year and I’ll try to get Big Star back on the road before too long. We jumped him a little in Florida, then he’s had a bit of a break to keep him on track fitness-wise, but he’s too good to rush. Watch this space.