Concerns over merit versus money as shows emerge from lockdown *H&H Plus*

The European Equestrian Federation has warned that showjumping’s “credibility” is at risk, while International Jumping Riders Club director Eleonora Ottaviani cautioned against “profiteering” from the pandemic as riders pay sums rumoured to be up to €50,000 to attend European shows. H&H finds out more...

Early in lockdown, international showjumping organisers speculated that their sport would emerge from Covid-19 with new priorities.

Long before the practicalities of social distancing were understood, Olympia and Royal Windsor supremo Simon Brooks-Ward hoped funding would swing back towards footfall from ordinary spectators.

Christophe Ameeuw, promoter of the Longines Masters, felt that the “new normal” would rail against conspicuous consumption. Fans would no longer tolerate “trucks that could carry three houses” and the lavish “pop-up” garden party scenario – expensive hospitality tables occupying two or three sides of the arena.

But a different picture has emerged in Europe, where FEI jumping resumed months ahead of the UK.

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