We Asked the World’s Top Riders What They Miss Most About Competing


With competitions on hold due to COVID-19, the world’s top riders have found themselves with extra time on their hands. While each athlete is coping with this unplanned downtime in their own way, one thing remains the same: they all miss special aspects of horse showing. We caught up with some of the world’s top riders to reminisce about what each of them is missing most.

Martin Fuchs, World No. 2

 “I definitely miss competing itself – being at the show and competing against other riders and jumping the big fences. It’s always a great feeling to have my horses get the best out of me, and encouraging my horses to be their best. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting back in the show ring soon!”

Pieter Devos, World No. 4

I think we are still very privileged in this difficult time that we can continue training and working with our horses. I love to work with my horses, but I am also a topsporter so I like to win. The big competitions and all the good feelings after a great result, I am really starting to miss.”

Darragh Kenny, World No. 7

While all of us at Oakland are using this time to keep our horses fit at home with flatwork, gymnastics and some interval training so they’re ready to compete when it’s time again, we do miss having our normal horse show schedule. I think when shows are on it helps keep you motivated more consistently as you have a goal to aim for at all times. With no end in sight to this pandemic and when we’ll all be back to showing, it’s now more difficult to set those goals.”

Beezie Madden, World No. 8

 “I really miss the competition and the chance to win some prize money. The competition is our barometer of how we stack up against our fellow competitors and we have no way of measuring that now. I think that’s what makes us the most anxious, along with the loss of doing business. But I am thankful that we still can work with our horses at home and stay safe! I hope all of us are staying home and staying safe.”

Scott Brash, World No. 9

I think what is difficult right now is the not knowing when or what we are working towards with each horse. I’m sure the same amongst us all is that we are missing competing, but I do feel very fortunate that we have the horses to be spending time with in these hard times.”

McLain Ward, World No. 10

I miss the competition. I love the battle to win or lose. It’s what motivates me and it is what I get my most fulfillment from. I miss the travel and the excitement of being in a new part of the world. Even if you’ve been there 100 times before, each time you visit there are new experiences and great memories. I also miss the interaction with my fellow competitors. I never have thought of myself as a very social person but in this unprecedented time I have found I’m very much missing the interaction with riders I respect and enjoy talking with and being around.”

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