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Ones to observe: younger showjumper Sandy McLean


  • Younger Scottish showjumper Sandy McLean has made an enormous impression this 12 months, most not too long ago touchdown a hat-trick of grands prix together with his prime horse Gino F.

    The decided 20-year-old has lengthy impressed together with his nice fashion within the saddle and a robust aggressive streak, which has introduced nice success by way of the years as he’s come up by way of the horse ranks and efficiently on to horses.

    Edinburgh-born Sandy is now primarily based close to Carlisle with Jonathan Dixon of QC Sporthorses, the place they’ve a staff of 30 horses in work.

    “I’ve acquired 10 horses which might be in my string and which I take to exhibits,” explains Sandy. “I muck out on a morning until about half 9 after which simply attempt to trip as many as I can — I usually attempt to get no less than eight carried out a day, however ideally I wish to get 13 ridden, relying on the climate after all.”

    Sandy certified for the Voltaire Design under-25 British Championship on the London Worldwide Horse Present in December together with his prime horse, the 11-year-old Dutch-bred Gino F, practically a decade after ending second within the present’s 128cm class held at Olympia.

    Rob Murphy beat me that 12 months!” remembers Sandy. “I at all times actually preferred Olympia, it had such a tremendous ambiance. However with it being Christmas too, simply provides to it.”

    Sandy McLean: ‘Seashore driving has made an enormous distinction’

    Sandy and “Massive G”, Gino F, gained three grands prix on residence soil within the early a part of the winter season, which he attributes to a brand new health regime.

    “Gino is feeling actually good in the mean time – the most important change for him has been going to the seaside,” says Sandy. “I take him to the seaside fairly usually and do a little bit of canter work with him to get him actually match. He’s misplaced a little bit of weight and placed on numerous muscle, and I believe that’s made an enormous distinction in his leaping.

    “I’d checked out him after Area UK in September and mentioned he was simply carrying a bit an excessive amount of weight and wanted to get a bit lighter on his toes. And he’s undoubtedly carried out that!

    “He loves going to the seaside, he loves enjoying within the water. He simply loves all the straightforward issues in life. He’s the nicest, huge dopiest horse you’ve ever met. You’ll be able to exit hacking and also you don’t even want to carry onto the reins with him. However he is aware of when it issues, he is aware of that when he goes into the ring there’s a job to be carried out.”

    An thrilling seven-year-old

    Additionally in Sandy’s string is the current seven-year-old champion at Aintree’s younger horse present in December, Katoulon JL, by Echelon.

    “Jonathan owns him together with Jacqueline Lammerts in Holland,” he says. “I’ve had him now slightly below a 12 months as a part of my string and he hadn’t actually carried out a lot once I first acquired him at first of the 12 months, however he’s actually come on and he’s a bit like Gino – he’s a very nice horse and also you’d by no means know he’s a stallion. He’s essentially the most docile stallion and likes to go to the seaside as properly. We’re hoping he’s a wise one for the long run. He jumps plenty of clear rounds – he has a bit his personal fashion of going however so long as he misses the fences, I can cope with that!”

    Turning into an expert showjumper has at all times been Sandy’s objective.

    “I’ve at all times wished to develop into a prime rider finally,” he says. “I don’t actually have targets, I simply need to get as far and as excessive as doable and I’ll hold working until I get there.

    “I don’t actually have an Olympics in thoughts, I simply need to rise up there with the highest boys – Scott Brash and Ben Maher – and competing at London is such an ideal alternative for folks to see you in that sort of surroundings, on that huge stage.”

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