British Show Jumping Controversy

Anyone happen to read the recent news articles about the British Olympic team selection being unfair? A father is complaining his daughter was the victim of favoritism? Says it’s not sour grapes. He says the young man selected is the son of a famous British rider/trainer rather than his daughter. He is a wealthy business man.

I really haven’t been following this until these news articles. I looked up at the FEI stats, the daughter is ranked around 95 and the young man is ranked around 140.

I know the FEI ranking is not really used for team selection in USA but it can indicate current winnings.

Anyone know the specific details here? Sour grapes or more to the story?

There was unusual depth available in the Team GB selection, given we have been better at eventing than SJ for many years. I presume the selection in question was Charles as travelling reserve, but he has had plenty of success this year in Europe.

Lemme guess, Emily Moffits father?

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Just out of curiosity, where were the other British team members on the FEI list?

4, 12, 47

I don’t have an opinion about this British team, since I have not paid close attention to their selection process.

But it was about 30 years ago that there was a lawsuit over a similar issue with the American team, which resulted in a much more open selection process. It went from pretty much completely subjective before that lawsuit to completely objective for a brief period, which did not work too well. And now it has landed somewhere in between, which seems to work pretty well for us. Fingers crossed.


I don’t mean to make light of the issue, because it is terrible if she wrongly lost a spot on the team, but my favorite part of the linked article is that in the photo, which clearly contains “older man,” “younger woman” and “horse,” they feel the need to clarify who is “left” and who is “center!” Otherwise, I might’ve thought the horse was named Emily! :grin:


These articles are not written by equestrians. The other articles I read; were hard to follow due to language terminology blunders. Lol.

Emily Moffit;

Ben Maher;
Scott Brash;
Holly Smith;

Harry Charles;

The good thing for little Miss Moffit is that her father employs Ben Maher.

Sounds like the same thing that happened with the Canadian Eventers :joy:

ok reading this now… if this is true

It is not the first time the BEF has been criticised for chauvinism and elitism. Four years ago its then chief executive, Clare Salmon, attacked the ‘toxic’ old guard in the sport, claiming that she was told to wear tweed and kitten heels to fit in and was bullied out of her job

In showjumping, men and women compete directly against each other and according to the same rules. This year, for the first time since 1976, Britain’s Olympics team includes a woman, Holly Smith.

As other sports struggle with gender equality, equestrian athletes are often seen as trailblazers.

But Mr Moffitt wonders why British women have had, as he sees it, the door slammed in their faces for so long.

‘It is beyond my imagination that it’s taken 45 years for a woman to be picked,’ he says.

‘I think we’re by far the worst in this respect. I don’t think any other country can say they haven’t picked a woman for so long.’

Then I do think perhaps, there may be an issue at the BFF.


Edited to add: According to the caption on that picture, it does look like the horse’s name is Emily, since the horse is in the center between the two people. Lol.



Yes, Debbie Dolan, or rather her father (with unlimited resources), sued when his daughter did not make the 1990 WEG team. Anne K. went instead. So the point system was established. Some results of this ‘system’ not so good. For example, Greg and Gem Twist did not make the 1992 Olympic team because of a single bad round (Devon, pouring rain, blinding lights).

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You may find this interesting;

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Tragic :sob:


Not defending or bashing either way, but Poden has also given rides on various horses to other British riders over the past few years.

I usually poo-poo at these kinds of claims, but it’s hard to look past the difference in results and the team not having a woman on it for over 45 years. The argument BFF gave for their decision was kind of weak…

But at the same time, they are arguing over the reserve spot. Chances are that person isn’t going to see the inside of the arena anyway

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I am relieved that she switched her nationality a few years back.

USA has a great team this year (as in TEAM)!


On the other hand, a friend of mine did almost go to Barcelona on the team, when he never in a million years would have had a shot under the previous “good old boys” system. He, too, had one bad round, which unfortunately happened to be in the final selection trial at Gladstone. Until that day, and if they had had one less trial, he was in fourth place.

He already had multiple people arguing over who was going to get to go with him as his groom! Lol.


Oh dear. The father sounds really obnoxious. And I don’t think this is the way to make his daughters “2024 Olympic dreams” come true, somehow.

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