I’m writing this early Monday morning in the airport lounge in Birmingham airport waiting for my flight home. We had a successful week at Birmingham, finishing with runner up spot in the Grand Prix (see news).
Birmingham was a three star show but like no other - the coverage, the crowds and the atmosphere is akin to any top indoor show in the world. We all love to perform and it’s great to have an appreciative audience such as here in Birmingham, who filled the stands from the opening class right to Sunday’s finale.
Sky Sports have revolutionised the sport in the UK with an incredible team who are now expert in bringing showjumping to your living room as never seen before. Detailed interviews, course walks and behind the scenes are all ways that they have moved the coverage forward and combined with unique camera angles and informed commentary, it really is a remarkable package. Sky Sports have covered Birmingham and Hickstead for some years now and in my view have been a huge factor in both increased interest and financial backing coming into British showjumping. A rising tide lifts all boats and people want to be involved with success - well done to all concerned!
- Saphir winning the 6&7 yr old final in great style
- Serendipity and Ross in the 6&7 yr old final
- Cooper showing his perfect technique
- Homebred ESI Florence with Andrea
The Cavan Indoor Championships was as good a show there that I can recall for 15 years. There was a super buzz around the place and a hive of activity between a successful foal sale and with numerous Irish and foreign buyers trying out horses it certainly gives the whole sport a welcome boost. The competition was good all week and I was delighted to see young Michael Duffy (Vinnie and Sandra's son ) claiming an amazing double when winning the derby and the Grand Prix with the same horse - full marks to him and it was especially nice to see how happy he and all his connections were following the GP.
The foal sale was a great success and should act as an encouragement to breeders to breed performance mares with a good stallion and you will have a fair chance of yielding a handsome return. I bought two colt foals by Flexible. It's a bit like the lotto I know, but if you don't play, then you definitely have no chance of winning the jackpot!!
All my horses jumped great with Karlswood horses placing in the top 3 in all the young horse finals (see news).
Kernan’s Equestrian Centre is next for us on the weekend then we're off to Birmingham for horse of the year show the following week.