Nigel Coupe: grass is a great asset *H&H VIP*

  • At the first show here at Stoneleigh last year, everything was too spread out and there was a lot of criticism.

    Happily, the organisers seem to have taken on board what was said, and this year everything was much more user-friendly. When the stable manager realised I had travelled solo to the show with two horses and was parked so far away from my stables, they allowed me to move my lorry much nearer.

    There were never a lot of spectators watching the finals, but splitting the main (all-weather) arena into two rings did help to create more atmosphere.

    Most of the finals last year were indoors, but having everything outside this time worked well. August is too early to be jumping indoors.

    Last year, as the International Stairway League winner, I claimed one of the HOYS wild cards and the final here was on grass.  A good grass ring is an asset to a championship show and we should ride on the green stuff more.

    Time has moved on since the Royal Show and some parts of the showground need updating. It’s easy to criticise, but we need to be constructive and work with the organisers to improve things. I know some championships offer much less prize money, but £5,000 to the winner of the International Stairway final was a class worth coming for and it was good to finish third riding Jubilee.

    On the social side there was a bar at night for a beer and to keep tabs on the Olympics.