Holly Smith: Keysoe is top-notch but needs final polish *H&H VIP*

  • Opinion

    I would like to congratulate the organisers for running the Keysoe CSI, as we desperately need CSIs in Britain. However, it was a shame that there were power problems and some competitors were left without electricity on the coldest nights of the year so far. The Keysoe team did their best and I don’t envy them, but if the show had been actively seen to be doing something, there would have been fewer moans. We riders love our sport. All we ask for in return is good food and warmth.

    A big thank you must also go to the hard-working grooms. Those in action at Keysoe are top-class professionals and we would be lost without them.

    The facilities here are top-notch, although they do need finishing touches such as more attention to detail in the cafe and public areas. And the livestream is a huge bonus for owners, who can see their horses in action, even if they can’t make the show. An app used at several shows abroad that gives results and the progress of each class would be a great help too.

    A huge ask

    The  courses were extremely challenging and made you think, but the show does need a second ranking class. Without sponsors, finding £22,000 for another class is a huge ask of organisers but one that would make a huge difference to riders and owners.

    I’ve seen some great rounds here from younger riders and horses. As long as we can encourage them to keep their horses, the future’s bright.

    I hated selling my best horse, but the money made me more financially secure. I can now afford to educate horses at shows like this instead of worrying about winning enough prize-money to pay the bills. If we lift this burden from other riders with potential top-level horses, it could help British teams get back on top again.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 30 November 2017