Michael Whitaker: A top-class show on our doorstep *H&H VIP*

  • There was only one complaint to be made about the London GCT — the weather. It not only rained solidly for two of the three days, it was also freezing.

    We were thankful for the cover over the warm-up as without it we’d have been absolutely drenched.

    The new location at Syon Park was top-class. There was a lot more room than at the last two London shows, particularly Horse Guards where the warm-up was incredibly tight.

    Losing the central location did mean it lacked in atmosphere, but the weather really didn’t help. It would have taken an extremely dedicated person to sit out in the stands on the Friday.

    That said, with a show like this it is important to attract as many people as possible and I wonder if giving away tickets to the first day might improve the numbers. Once people see what is on offer, they will come back.

    The grand prix itself was unbelievable — big, fast and the finish was very close. I thought John [Whitaker] was out in front even at the last fence, but he lost it over the line.

    My own show was disappointing, but I was very pleased with my son Jack, who was third in Sunday’s 1.35m CSI2* on Saveur — only his second appearance at this level.

    Having a show like this gives the sport a lift and it was a shame more people couldn’t come to see it.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 30 July 2015