It’s Horse of the Year Show week! So many people fight for their place to be there and so many fail to make it. But for the lucky few, the opportunity to see their name in lights is here. It is an achievement to be there and everyone should be proud. So why the nastiness? Little backstabbing remarks, nasty glares, strategic tactics to upset other horses and with forums allowing anonymous comments people are free to say what they want.
Maybe there is a need for more sanctions or monitoring? Or is it just part of competitive sport?
In most sports there is a yellow/red card -maybe if a judge sees unsportsmanlike behaviour in the ring or a steward sees something in the collecting ring then they should have the power to do act to stop it.
I have recently become a mother and it makes you think about how you behave and the example you set. If adults think it is ok to bitch, comment and belittle other competitors then what example are we setting to the little jockeys listening?
Ten years ago I won a class at the BSPS Summer Championships and a couple of weeks afterwards I received a well done card from the girl that won it the year before – Megan Canter on Galley Hill. She doesn’t know that I always admired her and Galley and on the morning of the class Mother and I discussed how Galley would jump it – his free and forward technique which helped me to win the class. That card meant the world to me, I still have it and I have a friendship with the girl 10 years later – we now share baby tips!
So, next time you are tempted to make a bitchy comment or see someone struggling and don’t lend a hand – Remember that you are probably missing out. A kind word costs nothing and you may just develop a very rewarding friendship. Nasty actions and words don’t make anything better but a kind word just might.