Posted: 17/08/2016 at 22:44
Sorry Frank/Dad, but showjumping has changed because of money and sponsorship. There are thousands of people regularly competing week in week out at all levels throughout the country, but there's a massive gulf between a kid on an average pony doing a novice class at a local show, and Scott Brash on a million pound plus horse. There's huge money spent in the pony world, usually from outside interests ( footballer's wives) which is spent on buying success. Top ponies are infinitely more forgiving and regularly help riders out of trouble, even when the rider makes a massive mistake, so skill is less important. Horses are totally different. You can't cock up too often with a horse or it'll jack it in and lose confidence, and it takes a lot of years to bring on young horses. The good young riders, if they want to make a career of it, need sponsors and owners willing to support them long term. If they have a good horse, you then need owners who're prepared to turn down the blank cheques they'll be offered, so that those horses stay here and don't go abroad. That happens a lot - those horses change hands for millions, and there's no guarantee a horse will perform well for a new jockey either. It's simply not the same as replacing a set of golf clubs or any other piece of equipment. One of the best examples of that was Caroline Bradley's horse Tigre. After she died, Paddy McMahon took over the ride. Couldn't 'ride one side of him' is the expression.
Anyway - Harvey Smith couldn't have been less 'elitist' if he'd tried. He was a Yorkshire farmer. Still is.
The Broomes and the Edgar family are still heavily involved in showjumping
Nick's horse looked in good form Liz. Jumped a good round. The water jump 'fault' was a bit debatable.