The following article by Eleanore Kelly appeared in a recent edition of Spear’s magazine:
“The showjumping course may be full of obstacles, but nothing stands between an investor and equine pleasure and profit.
The world of showjumping has always been synonymous with elegance, the sense of occasion and thrilling sport. Jilly Cooper made her millions from writing about it at a time when blunt Yorkshireman Harvey Smith was a household name and the sport enjoyed huge TV ratings. Yet the sport today is a far cry from the days when the venues were a field in the Home Counties offering a beer tent and burger van, when equine stars arrived in trailers and the riders mostly came from ordinary folk with a ‘good feel for a horse’.
Today the sport attracts the offspring of rock stars, royalty and billionaires: Athina Onassis, Sofia Abramovich, Jessica Springsteen, Charlotte Casiraghi. Horses are bought and sold for millions and travel in ‘palaces on wheels’ — custom-built wagons worth £500,000. They are a home from home for riders who live like lavish gypsies travelling from one glamorous show venue to another: Monaco, Shanghai, Paris, Hong Kong, Chantilly…