If anybody had told me at any time during my riding career that in February 2020 our yard would be taking 19 horses to Vilamoura, Portugal, for a four-week tour, I’d have given them a strange look. But that’s how much the sport has changed.
In the decades I rode, the major shows were all about top riders, good prize money, selling tickets, household-name sponsors and the TV companies helping to finance the fixtures. The tours of today are a different dynamic. With something for everybody, there are young horse competitions and classes from 1.10m to grand prix, with €50,000-plus (£44,230) prize funds.