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Top show jumpers launch new club

Top riders are joining forces in an attempt to improve British show jumping in the future

Leading show jumpers have set up their own riders’ club to negotiate directly with show organisers in an attempt to improve the standards of shows in the UK.

The Show Jumping Riders’ Club of Great Britain has been established by 25 founder members, including the Whitaker family and British-based Irish international, Peter Charles. Robert Smith is acting chairman.

In a letter distributed to riders at the Hickstead Derby meeting, Robert Smith explained: “Due to various problems experienced at recent shows in Great Britain, it was felt that there is a need for a Show Jumping Riders’ Club to consolidate the sport and move it forward into the 21st century in a way that benefits everyone.”

Peter Charles said: “After problems with ground conditions at some competitions this year, we decided to be more pro-active and form an association that could negotiate with show organisers to make improvements. We intend to be co-operative, but we are determined to get our views across.”

He added that the cost of competing was a growing issue for many riders.

“Entry fees are going up, while prize-money seems to be dropping. This is happening right across the board, and we want to bring our concerns about this to the organisers’ attention. Improving facilities for owners and sponsors, so that they can watch the jumping in comfort, is another important area.

“We will obviously continue to work with the BSJA, and hope that it will endorse our actions, but we expect to be taken seriously and make some changes.”

Membership of the club is £150 per annum, and Peter reports that Rosemary Ockenden-Day, who is acting as secretary for the club, has received a considerable number of enquiries since Hickstead.

Read more SJ news and reports in this week’s Horse & Hound (5 September), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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