The excitement of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will never be forgotten and those golden days in Greenwich provided the most memorable moments in British equestrian sport over the past 25 years according to a poll conducted by leading equine insurer Petplan Equine to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
Visitors to Petplan Equine’s website and the Petplan Equine stand at this year’s Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead were invited to vote for their favourite from a list of 25 events selected by Petplan Equine from the past 25 years.With more than 2,500 votes cast it is hardly surprising that the events of last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games proved to be most popular.
Top of the list was TeamGB’s showjumpers, who captured their first Olympic gold medal in 60 years after winning a dramatic jump-off against the Netherlands in the team event. The brilliant performance of Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, PeterCharles and Scott Brash polled 18.3% of the votes, putting them ahead of Charlotte Dujardin’s individual dressage gold medal (14.8%) and the TeamGB dressage riders’ gold medal in the team event (10.8%).
Eventing and racing also featured in the top ten with the nation’s favourite grey Desert Orchid’s courageous win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup providing the racing highlight and the exploits of Mary King, Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pittalso picking up their share of the votes.
- 2012: TeamGB’s showjumpers win Olympic team gold in London – 18.3%
- 2012: Charlotte Dujardin wins Olympic individual dressage gold in London – 14.8%
- 2012: TeamGB’s dressage riders win Olympic team gold in London – 10.8%
- 2007: Mary King wins her fourth British Open title – 5.2%
- 1994: John Whitaker retires Milton at Olympia – 4.8%
- 1989: Desert Orchid wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup – 4.2%
- 2003: Pippa Funnell wins the Rolex Grand Slam – 4.2%
- 2011: William Fox-Pitt wins Burghley horse trials for a record 6th time – 3.8%
- 2012: Sophie Christiansen wins her third gold medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games – 3.3%
- 2012: Frankel is retired unbeaten after winning his 14th consecutive race in the Champion Stakes at Ascot – 3.3%
A British Showjumping spokesperson said, “Needless to say, it’s no surprise to us to hear the news that showjumping has topped the poll. The footfall through the gates at showjumping events around the country demonstrates the popularity of the sport and the Team Gold won at last year’s London 2012 Olympic Games alongside the Team Gold, Individual Silver and Individual Bronze achieved at this year’s European Championships has kept us at the forefront of equestrianism.”
“Petplan Equine is very proud to have been a supporter of British equestrian sport for 25 years,” said Charlotte Collyer, Marketing Executive for Petplan Equine. “There is no doubt that London 2012 provided some amazing and memorable performances by British horses and riders and the gold medals won by our showjumpers and dressage riders received an overwhelming amount of the votes. It was also good to see Paralympic dressage make its mark and the thrilling victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup by Desert Orchid is still recognised 25 years later. Petplan Equine would like to thank everyone who registered a vote and helped to produce such a definitive top 10 of British equestrian sporting highlights.”