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‘My skilled standing wasn’t handed to me’


  • Amateurs can obtain with the right combination of elements, says prime showman Simon Reynolds, who’s greatest recognized for producing cobs for the present ring

    I lately attended the Horse & Hound Awards held at Cheltenham Racecourse (30 November). It’s an occasion I all the time sit up for and this 12 months was no exception.

    It’s true once they say the horse business is a small world, and it was nice to meet up with such a wide range of equestrians. It’s great how the awards honour so many several types of individuals, together with amateurs {and professional} riders, volunteers, vets and farriers. There are a lot of issues that I took away from the night and hoped we may implement them into our sport of displaying.

    We nonetheless have an apparent novice versus skilled divide, and I believe the explanation that is much less apparent in different disciplines, comparable to showjumping, is that the sports activities are much less subjective, much less open to skewed opinion and extra based mostly on efficiency. Within the different disciplines, expertise is simpler to recognise, as it’s measurable – in showjumping it’s important to maintain the fences up and/or be the quickest.

    On awards evening, there was an award for the novice of the 12 months – and novice is a standing to be happy with. Very often, these persons are juggling full-time jobs and their sport is their interest. How good you might be at that interest, and the way critically you’re taking it, then is determined by your outcomes. Fortunately, displaying is recognising the significance of amateurs and is making strides to extend alternatives for them within the present ring.

    “I’m generally envious”

    I needed to work onerous my entire life to turn out to be an expert inside my very own proper. As a toddler, I made uncommon appearances in school. I got here from generations of horsemen; my nice grandfather and grandfather have been in hunt service, and my dad was an expert jockey and later a horse vendor.

    Horses have been my life from an early age. I snigger when individuals say professionals have it simple and solely win due to their standing. Nothing may very well be farther from the reality. As a toddler, I used to be working with horses to contribute to the household revenue. I then moved away from house to work on searching and showjumping yards.

    I by no means confirmed ponies and rode my first present horse, the working hunter Brightmore, after I was 19. Being an expert present producer was by no means handed to me and it does sensible after I hear the grumbling about professionals, and I’m generally envious of the novice standing. I don’t know another job the place being profitable and skilful is usually a detriment. You actually wouldn’t be promoted with out these accolades.

    “The alternatives are quite a few”

    I all the time maintained that if I had been profitable at school, I might have made an awesome novice. In displaying, we have now some great novice mixtures. There are many good animals with proficient riders who, on the entire, win their justifiable share of courses, together with at Horse of the Yr Present (HOYS) and the Royal Worldwide (RIHS).

    The important thing to success is within the planning, to position your self and the horse on the acceptable degree – no completely different to dressage, which is staged as such. Not everybody goes to qualify for HOYS, nor are they entitled to in the event that they’re not on the required degree.

    Nonetheless, we have now some great reveals championing the amateurs, with glittering finals celebrating their successes at prestigious occasions all through the calendar, comparable to Present Groups and Rising Stars (STARS), SEIB Seek for a Star at HOYS, the RIHS. And never forgetting novice, rising stars and home-produced courses held at nationwide degree by the key displaying societies.

    The alternatives for amateurs are quite a few and so they arguably have extra bites on the cherry than the professionals. Grasp these reveals with each arms.

    Lastly, I want everyone a really merry Christmas and a affluent new 12 months.

    ● Do you’re feeling that amateurs have a good probability within the present ring? Tell us at [email protected] – embody your title, nearest city and county for the prospect prime have your views revealed on the letters web page in Horse & Hound journal

    • This unique column can even be obtainable to learn in Horse & Hound journal, on sale Thursday 15 December

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