Egmore back to his winning ways

He’s had a 10-year hiatus from the sport but Jonathan Egmore was back in winning form at Hickstead, claiming the honours in Friday’s Al Shira’aa British Five-Year-Old Jumping Championship with Passilano. The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting takes place from 20th-23rd June at Hickstead in West Sussex. With international showjumping classes alongside national competition, showing championships and scurry driving, it is one of the biggest shows in Great Britain.

“It’s nice – unexpected, but nice!” says Egmore, who runs a horse feed and bedding business. His chance to return to the sport came a couple of years ago, when his girlfriend’s family put together a syndicate to purchase three unbroken three-year-olds.

“We’ve got four horses now, so we’re creeping back in,” he says. “It was all just circumstances – it all just fizzled out, and things ground to a halt. I kind of dropped out of the sport and didn’t bother; I didn’t think I’d come back.”

His winning ride Passilano has an unusual background for a showjumper.

“He came from a dressage stud,” explains Egmore. “They’d bought a mare, and then discovered that she was pregnant. They wanted to keep the mare to breed from, but he was never really in their plans. We happened to know the girl who produced the stud’s horses, so she asked if I’d have a look at him and see if he had any jump in him. And that was it, really – it’s been upwards ever since. He’s been very good, and he’ll definitely have the scope to go on.”