Katie Jerram-Hunnable: ‘As costs continue to rise, I’ve been asked for “winter rates”’


  • Top showing producer Katie Jerram-Hunnable on rising costs and the return of a popular show centre

    The 2022 season finished with a super Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), which closed the year off perfectly. It was great to feel back to normal at last and I do hope the buzz is back for good and continues into the next show season. I wish fellow competitors great success in 2023 as we move forward having survived the Covid curse.

    However, as the ever-rising costs become greater this winter, it’s still a very challenging time. I have been asked if I can drop down to “winter rates”, but it’s so much more expensive for producers to run a yard than ever before. The cost of hay, feed and bedding has escalated.

    January is also the month when registrations to different societies are going out and measuring takes place. It’s going to be a terrifically hard time. When I go to a show, I need to take a full lorry load because if I had to put one horse on the box, it simply wouldn’t be viable – I couldn’t afford to run it.

    With all costs increasing, I expect people will be putting more thought into where they show this year and I worry how much this will have an impact on entries. I also hope that some of the county shows that lost their HOYS qualifiers in 2022 can regain them, because they really need our support. We face losing these iconic shows, which are often the ones that give our animals vital experience and preparation before facing the Royal International and HOYS rings later in the season.

    A great return

    The exciting news that Addington Equestrian is hosting events once again should certainly be celebrated. The centre has been closed since the Covid pandemic hit, but a new team has taken it on, and I can’t wait to get back there.

    It has already been confirmed by Addington’s director of sport, Alan Beaumont, and Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain that the national hunter supreme championship show will run at the venue in August this year, as well as the spring show in April. I believe other societies are also in talks with the venue, so I think many of us will benefit from the reopening.

    Addington was a great loss to our showing fixtures and although we have used different venues across the country, it has been missed. Not only is it so central, in my opinion it has the best facilities. From what I have read, there are also many improvements, including new surfaces, a new judges’ box and an updated restaurant and bar.

    “No let-up”

    Returning to the subject of shows, I have some concerns over the announcement of a new showing series for 2023 that will have finals at the London International Horse Show in December. The series is being run by the British Show Pony Society, the British Show Horse Association and the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations, and I believe some of the classes will be for amateurs and will be performance led.

    I realise things need to move on, but my main concern is that it’s such a long season for many of the horses and ponies anyway, and these finals will run in late December. The animals will still need to be physically and mentally ready for such a prestigious show. I worry that the staff and the horses need a holiday and dragging it out is giving them no let-up.

    ● When is the best time of year to hold finals? Write to hhletters@futurenet.com, including your name, nearest town and county with your thoughts for the chance to be published in a future issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

    • This exclusive column will also be available to read in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 12 January

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