Alexandr L. Figg: “Great Britain Team will excel whatever“
Alexander Leonard Figg, acting judge of the cross-country races in the UK, told horsetimes.ru about important equestrian events and British victories.
horsetimes: Alexander, do you think equestrian sport in England is available only for the rich?
Alex Figg:There are many riding schools for beginners where riders will learn how to balance themselves and the horse. They will learn to get the horse on the correct diagonal at rising trot for instance. Another key element is to get the horse to drop his head onto the bridle. When the rider is confident he or she can buy their own horse. They can keep it at a livery stables where it is looked after.
horsetimes:How many British people attend equestrian events such races, competitions or fox hunting? Is it possible to say that the British are in love with horses in their blood from the very beginning?
Alex Figg:One of the biggest race meetings is in March and called the Cheltenham Festival. Around 200,000 people attend over 4 days. On Gold Cup day there 65,000 people alone. It is not just British but also Irish, many of whom are drunk for four days! They fly over with Ryanair. There is even a race called the Ryanair Chase.
horsetimes:What type of equestrian sport is the most common in the UK?
Alex Figg:Foxhunting is very popular here and more people go hunting than before it was made illegal! Probably around 300,000 per annum. In the UK racing, show jumping and eventing are popular test the horses in different disciplines.
horsetimes:British riders after the 2012 Olympic Games became wellknown around the world. Do you think that 2016 Olympic Games in Rio will also show a great shape of British Teams?
Alex Figg:The 2012 Olympics was very successful for Great Britain Team. The three day event team got team silver. The show jumping team got gold medals. A remarkable performance was put in by Nick Skelton who had a broken neck a few years ago but at the age of 54 put in a gold medal performance in the team event. In the individuals he had a pole down which gave silver. The dressage team also got gold medals. Charlotte Dujardin got individual gold beating her teacher Carl Hester! Sadly horses do go lame and retire and Rio 2016 is some way away. Selection for teams takes place near the event. Great BritainTeam will excel whatever! Good luck to the team!
Author: Olga Vladova, Svetlana Malenko