Circa 1973 when I was about 10 years old, I was give a purple autograph book.
It is full of autographs. The usual ditties from my primary and secondary school.
Anyway, I found the book tucked away in a drawer and in it were my autographs.
There are the usual from my family, but there are also a few famous ones from the horse world. My parents once took us to Hickstead in 1973.
Paddy McMahon – he won the European Show Jumping Championships in 1973.
Dick Stillwell – a well known trainer of top show jumping and eventing riders.
Jane Holderness Roddam (née Bullen) – a British event rider. She won Badminton Horse Trials in 1968 and 1978 as well as Burghley Horse Trials in 1976. She competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, winning team gold for Great Britain.
The luscious Richard Meade – Britain’s most successful equestrian Olympian. He was a triple Olympic gold medalist and the first British rider to win an individual Olympic title. He also won five World Championship medals, including team golds in 1970 and 1982.
Marion Mould (née Coakes) – an English show-jumper. She competed for Great Britain at the 1968 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the individual jumping event. She was also the owner and rider of the famous Stroller (14.1 hands bay gelding), who jumped one of the only two clear rounds in the Olympic individual championship. In 1967, Marion rode Stroller to victory in the Hickstead Derby, the only pony to have ever won this event. Stroller was a legend and I remember we all aspired to be Marion and Stroller in our childhood dreams.
George Hobbs – show jumper
And, lastly, Chris Collins – show jumper.
These autographs have brought back some good childhood memories.
(Other autographs include Peter Pears, Murray Perahia and Imogen Holst – but that’s for another day!)