Horseback riding is one of the oldest sports and fulfils every definition of the word sport. The dedication and skill in harnessing the power, stamina and obedience of the impressive equus in all the forms of timed competition is to be admired. Two become one.
I remember first being transported into sporting theatre at Yarmouth Racecourse and experiencing the sunlit bright colours of jockey silks on the move mounted on glistening equine musculature. Whilst there I asked this colourful character Prince Monolulu – a famous horse-racing tipster, for one of his magic envelopes – a qty of which he was waiving in both hands. I was about eight years old and didn’t know what they were. He did though, tell me why I couldn’t have one !
The formats that have inspired my equestrian paintings embrace in the main … horse racing, steeplechasing, cross country endurance, driving, eventing, gymkhana and polo – seemingly the most portrayed. As an Olympic sport it is divided into three categories of: showjumping, dressage, and three-day eventing . Grand Prix: the highest level of showjumping requires the horse to jump a course in the fastest time and fewest faults over 10 to 16 obstacles at heights up to 1.6 mtrs and spreads of up to 2.0 mtrs (FEI rules) Awesome !