I hate to say it, but showjumping in Britain is in danger of becoming a sport purely for the elite or for unaffiliated riders.
By “elite”, I mean those who can afford to travel to shows most others dream about. No longer can riders like mine, Phillip Miller and Ben Walker, start at the bottom and go on to compete at the highest level, while also producing horses for elite riders to buy.
The main reason is because all over Britain riding schools are going out of business. It was at our family riding school where Phillip, who is from a non-horsey background, first sat on a pony. That same school now runs at a loss. With health and safety requirements, insurance and inspections, the cost of our licence this year was around £4,000. No wonder most riding schools struggle to keep going.