This year for Horse of the Year Show, organisers Grandstand Media Ltd are delighted to announce that a brand new Showjumping Masterclass has been given the go ahead in the timetable for the Wednesday afternoon in the Andrews Bowen International Arena. Visitors will be treated to a demonstration from not one, not two, but four showjumping talents in the form of the Fletcher family. Graham and Tina Fletcher will be directing the Masterclass from the ground, with their well-accomplished sons Will and Olli Fletcher demonstrating a mix of exercises for all different levels on board their talented horses. In addition, the Fletcher family will also be joined in the arena by special guest and huge supporter of the sport, impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner along with his daughter Lila in the saddle who trains regularly with the Fletcher family and competes with great success on the pony circuit.
Graham Fletcher has been involved in the sport of showjumping at the highest level for over 35 years winning all the major International Grand Prix competitions, including the Leading Showjumper of the Year at Horse of the Year Show, and has twice been crowned the British National Champion. At age 16, Graham went to Horse of the Year Show at Wembley for the first time and was fourth in the Foxhunter final. He was riding the four year old Buttevant Boy, and even by combining their ages, they were younger than any of the other riders in the class. Three years later, Graham earned the title of the Horse of the Year Show’s Leading Rider and was selected to represent Britain in Rome and Fontainbleu the following year. The Olympic silver medallist is now retired from international competition, but he continues to train and produce young horses. He and his wife Tina Fletcher run a breeding program which operates from their farm in Oxfordshire, producing top quality showjumpers and eventers. They also both support their teenage sons Will and Olli who are fast becoming two of the leading young riders in the country.
Proving her own credibility, Tina Fletcher has also dedicated her life to the sport of showjumping and has many great accolades under her belt. Her most memorable sporting achievement being her win at the Hickstead Derby in 2011, which she called the fulfilment of a “lifetime ambition” as she had grown up watching it on TV. She became the first female winner of the Hickstead Derby in 38 years, since Alison Dawes won in 1973 and she went on to win the Queen Elizabeth II Cup no less than three times. As no stranger to winning at HOYS also, Tina has won the Grade C Championship as well as taking a joint win in the HOYS Puissance in 2010 with Ellen Whitaker.
Will and Olli, aged 20 and 16 respectively, have both shown talent beyond their years recently representing Great Britain on numerous occasions bringing home a full spectrum of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals either individually or as part of their team GB. In 2017, Will was crowned the National Under 18 and Under 21 Champion at the British Showjumping National Championships, only to be taken the following year by his competitive younger brother Olli who creped in to take the National under 16 Champion and the National under 21 Champion title.
Speaking of their upcoming Showjumping Masterclass at HOYS, Graham commented: “Having competed at HOYS nearly every year since the age of 16, I have been lucky enough to win all of the major titles and have had the ride of some fantastic horses which have shaped my career. It is now a great pleasure to now be revisiting the show with the two lads [Will and Olli] and seeing them follow in both mine and Tina’s footsteps and I am delighted to be attending this year’s show to host the very first Showjumping Masterclass. Together Tina and I can combine a lot of years of experience in the sport and have witnessed many changes, therefore the Masterclass will be mainly focussed around techniques to use with a horse for them to excel and maximise their ability in modern day showjumping.”
Emma Williams, Event Director for Grandstand Media Ltd, commented: “We are delighted to be able to offer visitors of Horse of the Year Show our very first Showjumping Masterclass which I am sure with the help of the Fletcher family will be incredibly insightful and have some useful take-home advice in their for everyone who attends as well as being great fun to watch. Showjumping is one of the most popular reasons our visitors attend HOYS so we are pleased to be able to offer this form of tuition from some of the best riders in our sport.”
The Showjumping Masterclass will take place in the afternoon on Wednesday 2nd October, where you can purchase an all-day ticket for just £34.00. The showjumping icons will also be doing a meet and greet on the HOYS Live Zone where they will also talk a bit about their season. Aside from the Showjumping, the show will also see the return of Lorenzo ‘The Flying Frenchman’ as the headline display, as well as Mélie Philippot and her dancing duo Quizas and Diego, who will be performing the UK premiere performance of ‘My Little Sister’. With your ticket you can also get full-day access to the TopSpec arena and the Retail Village which showcases over 250 retail stands, plus the Meet the Horses Zone and the Live Zone.
To purchase your tickets and get access to this exclusive Showjumping Masterclass, call the Box Office on 0844 581 8282 or buy online https://hoys.co.uk/tickets/.
For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2019, please contact Horse of the Year Show Press Office, Grandstand Media Ltd. Tel: 02476 858205. Email: [email protected]
Image credit: Julian Portch