One of the greatest joys of eventing is witnessing those seriously special performances – the ones where everything comes together, where horse and rider both have the time of their lives, and where everything somehow looks easy, in a sport in which, as we all know, nothing is ever particularly easy.
Jonty Evans‘ win in the Grantham Cup CIC3* at Belton was one of those performances, and it was made even more pinch-me perfect by the long fight he’d had to get there. Just last year, he didn’t know if he’d ever get to ride his Rio mount, Cooley Rorkes Drift, again – and after a successful £500,000 crowdfunding campaign, a shaky end to the season, and a seriously impressive amount of hard work over the winter, the boys were back in business to net the biggest win of Jonty’s career. Not a bad way to prepare for a jaunt around Badminton next month!
For all its ups and downs, what makes our sport so unique and so magical is these fairytale stories of kindness, community, tenacity, and talent, which make victories like this belong to everyone, not just the person holding the cup. And there are few riders more willing to share in the glory than Jonty — his first words of thanks at Belton’s prizegiving went to the 6,800 donors who had helped him secure his best friend, and he invited anyone present who had chipped in to the cause to come to the stage and accept the honours with him. If trophies were handed out for graciousness, his name would surely be writ large.
Our Friday video this week celebrates this fantastic coup, courtesy of the video geniuses at An Eventful Life, who can be found all around the UK capturing cross-country rounds across the levels. They’re pretty subtle about it, too — in fact, their cameras are so discreet that certain EN journalists occasionally find themselves loudly cheering whilst stood right next to them. Whoops. #keepingitprofessional
Watch the video here.