I’m really pleased to have been back at Windsor in such lovely weather. There’s no better place for jumping horses from novices to international standard.
However, the show is incredibly popular and I feel sorry for the British producers and breeders who couldn’t get into the national classes due to a ballot system for entries the show operated this year. You can’t please everyone and I’m sure the organisers did their best, but many people did end up disappointed.
However, it’s not just national riders who missed out. I have a horse jumping at top level with Irishman Billy Twomey and I would have loved to have done the whole international-owner thing and watched him in the five-star classes. Sadly, Billy wasn’t high enough on the current FEI ranking list to get into the show.
One class I think needs looking at again is the Walwyn novice championship. In the past, this was open to the top 12 horses from the morning’s Foxhunter class. It didn’t matter what age they were and it was won by horses of all ages, some of whom went on to international success.
For the past couple of years, the final has been open to six-year-old horses only, which means those of us with horses of other ages are being penalised. It’s such a prestigious championship and one that I’ve never won. It’s something I’ve always aimed for and always just missed, so maybe the show could reconsider and open it up again.
Ref Horse & Hound; 17 May 2018