This tongue-in-cheek analysis outlines eight types of competitors you'll meet at any equestrian event.
Safety-first Sally is always kitted out in the latest high-tech safety wear. She can be seen sporting her inflatable air vest at any competition and her horse is always fully clad in tendon, brushing and overreach boots, with an array of coloured ribbons in his tail. When warming up Sally is sure to call very loudly before jumping a fence, so you’ll always know where she is.
Show off Sarah
Show off Sarah arrives at any event, whatever the level, in her brand new lorry with her string of nicely bred horses and full team of grooms. Sarah can be found jumping 1.40m in the British Novice warm up, while her grooms put all the other warm up fences up even higher, making it impossible for anyone else to jump anything.
Frantic Frank arrives at the competition in a bit of a stress as he forgot to enter online with Equo, bought the wrong bit and can’t find his riding gloves. Frank can be found handing you his horse in the warm up as he runs off to walk the course, however by the time he comes to ride it he’s already forgotten it and has to quickly ask everyone in a mild panic which jump number eight is. If Frank’s at a dressage competition you’re likely to be asked to call his test right at the last minute, as he’s learnt the wrong one.
Nervous Nicky loves competing but just cant seem to shake those pre-competition nerves. Poor Nicky is well stocked up on rescue remedy and receives regular prep talks in the corner of the warm up arena as her friends desperately try and calm her down. Learn how you can overcome your show day nerves…
Peter always has the perfect piaffes, heavenly half passes and superb serpentines. When not producing a foot perfect dressage test, his horses are jumping clear round the Foxhunter and forever bringing home the red ribbons. In fact, you can’t remember the last time that Peter didn’t win. His horses are impeccably behaved, have gleaming white socks and sparkling tack. To make matters worse Peter is annoyingly nice and you cant help but like him.
Bratty Beatrice can be heard before she’s seen. Beatrice tends to demand a new pony whenever he knocks a pole, despite the fact that she had the wrong stride, before handing her pony to her mother and storming off in a tantrum. While Beatrice can’t be found, her poor mother sits flustering while trying to enter her into the next class… if only they’d entered via Equo.
You often wonder whether Cathy goes to a show to compete or to catch up with her friends. Cathy knows everyone and can be found gossiping in the canteen over a cup of tea. Cathy knows all the show ring gossip and the results before they’re even announced, however you’ve never actually seen her on a horse…
Leah has everything. She is bang on trend with all the latest fashion. Her horse is kitted out with the top of the range ‘make me jump higher’ tendon boots, diamante bridle and sheepskin everything. Leah is always very glamorous, with a full face of make up and and not a hair out of place. Her horse is equally as glamorous, with top of the range tack. They really do have all the gear, however you’re not sure how well her horse actually goes…
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