Native riders of Britain: the showjumper

  • Welcome to Horse & Hound’s tongue-in-cheek guide to the various “native breeds” of riders in Britain…

    HEIGHT: Available in a range of sizes, the show jumper must be able to fit on anything from a donkey to a drum horse if it can jump 5ft off a short stride.

    CONFORMATION: The show jumper is definitely a “good doer”. Rarely do you find him hunting down his Atkins Diet book. A Yorkshire factory at one time produced several such riders using only one mould. Nowadays, up- and-coming show jumpers are more streamlined, and grow in spurts. Many teen jumpers suffer balance problems only remedied by clamping a mobile to the side of the head and loading their pockets with cigarettes. The mature jumper is built more for stability than dynamism. Jumping thousands of courses leaves him walking like Donald Duck.

    MARKINGS: Traditionally adorned in a red jacket during national and international competition, in recent years many show jumpers have come over all Calvin Klein and begun sporting an interesting array of coloured attire.

    TEMPERAMENT: Laid back, at least while the Marlboro Lights are within reach.

    HABITAT: Anywhere that there’s a whiff of a £3,000 open, usually in or around a lorry bigger than the rider’s county of birth.

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