Jennifer Donald: The amazing showjumping locations on offer *H&H VIP*

  • Opinion

    With three five-star shows taking place last weekend, top-level riders had an enviable dilemma — would they choose to compete next to the beach on the French Riviera, in the mountains of Austria or on the lush foothills of the Rockies?

    It is thanks to three of the sport’s most generous supporters that this very first-world showjumping problem occured at all. The CSI5* in Cannes is part of the Longines Global Champions Tour circuit, the mastermind of president Jan Tops, while the CSI5* Spruce Meadows National Tournament is being hosted by the ever generous Southern family at their home — which they’ve built up to become one of the leading venues in the world — in Calgary, Canada.

    H&H was lucky enough to be invited to Glock Horse Performance Center in Austria last weekend, where riders, owners and spectators — with a few A-list stars of stage and screen thrown in — were warmly welcomed by the Glock family, whose backing across the disciplines has been unprecedented. Win, lose or draw, everyone felt like royalty.

    A sense of loss

    Inevitably, with the showjumping fraternity spending so much time on the road, every one of these shows nurtures a huge sense of community, so a shuddering sense of loss was felt as we heard the news last week that young Irish showjumper Jack Dodd had died after a car accident at the age of 25.

    Jack was charming, hugely respected and had a bright career ahead of him — undoubtedly at some of these glittering shows. It certainly put things into perspective.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 14 June 2018