Praise for London-themed showjumps at Greenwich

  • As well as Britain’s incredible gold medals, equestrian fans were dazzled by the fabulous showjumps created by course-designer Bob Ellis and his team.

    On their way to gold, the British boys jumped their way over an amazing array of British icons and London landmarks – including Tower Bridge, a London bus, the lions and Nelson’s Column from Trafalgar Square and Stonehenge.

    And these fabulous jumps could be coming to a show near you. After the Games, they will go to the British Showjumping (BS) jump store in Hampshire, which provides jumps for hire and sale.

    Bob told H&H: “Most of the jumps were built for us by BS and they will go back to them after the Games, so I believe we have not seen the last of them.

    Kelvin [Bywater] and I have been working on the designs since we got the contract in June 2010. We wanted to make it all about the UK, with London featuring prominently.”

    Thirty-two unique jumps were displayed across the competitions by Bob and Kelvin, who drew the original designs.

    “We spent quite a few days in London going to museums and landmarks. Then Kelvin sketched them down roughly and we took those designs to Christine Bousfield,” said Bob.

    Mrs Bousfield is an Oxfordshire-based artist. She was commissioned to produce fence drawings for the 1976 Montreal Olympics and creates the detailed drawings of the fences each year for the Blenheim and Gatcombe horse trials programmes.

    The 50 initial ideas were whittled down to the 32 that were approved by the FEI, before being made from wood and polystyrene by the BS team.

    The end result has received plaudits from all over the world. Commentator Mike Tucker, who has seen many Olympic courses over the years, described them as being on “a level of design and attention to detail never seen before“.

    Bob said his phone and email have not stopped pinging.

    “It’s brilliant that people have taken the trouble to email me,” he said.

    And which is his favourite? As H&H went to press, Bob’s most impressive jump was still to come – he was saving it for the individual competition.

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (10 August 2012)

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