Professional Show Jumper

Through many years of competing nationally and internationally James has forged strong business relationships with some of the most celebrated show jumping riders and dealers in the world. This in turn has made him well recognised and respected as a source for quality sport horses, and also as a producer, trainer and adviser.

James’ tenacity has helped him negotiate the sports well known ‘ups and downs’ and the vast experience he has collected along the way has brought many opportunities and different challenges to him within the showjumping world – commentary, television, team managing and selection, to name a few.

Producing & Trading

James’ real passion lies in finding and producing young/talented sport horses with the potential and ability to reach a high level in show jumping, and ultimately become capable of winning Grand Prix on the world circuit.

Rob Cramer (Oosterbeek, Netherlands) has worked with James for many years and has been an essential partner and contact on the continent sourcing many of the quality horses that have been developed at Holme Park Farm. Their combined judgement and expertise can be relied upon to achieve results.

The competition arena is often used as a showcase for the horses which not only keeps James on the show jumping circuit but at the same time presents the horses to potential clients. The business is founded on family principles and values and together with the daily running of Holme Park Farm becomes very much a way of life.

Education/Schooling/Coaching

James’ most influential education was gained at the Reitsportzentrum in Elgg Switzerland (teacher Trainer College) where during the winters of 1980/1981 James trained with Paul Weier – an Olympic rider & course designer. This experience inspired James to International Showjumping where he has been fortunate enough to work alongside many of the top riders and coaches all over the world and is now passing on his knowledge to a new generation of rider.

For over 30 years James has worked closely with Jan Tops (Olympic & European team gold medalist, founder and president of the Longines Global Champions Tour and Longines Global Champions League) whose revolutionary approach and irrepressible enthusiasm for the sport of showjumping has been a huge influence on him.

Tuition from James & Lena is regularly available along with the possibility of riders staying for a period of training with their horse/horses. A limited number of Working Pupil positions are also offered by arrangement.

Since 2006 James has been Sky Sports 'regular' studio pundit for their coverage of showjumping at events such as The Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead Derby and Horse of the Year Show.

More recently Sky have covered the "Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping" which includes four of the world's greatest shows - Aachen, Spruce Meadows, Geneva and The Dutch Masters.

Sky Sports Equestrian

Over the past few seasons James has been part of the commentary team for the Longines Global Champions Tour events. For 2020 he is also taking on the role of managing the ‘Shanghai Swans’ and helping them in their quest to retain the overall league championship title that they won in 2019.

Longines Global Championstour

In addition to these different roles James is one of three selectors for British Showjumping Championship Teams working alongside Di Lampard and Robert Bevis.

British Showjumping
Family

Horses have always been very much a family affair and also very much a way of life! It involves all members at all levels with Lena (an accredited coach) nurturing both Emily and Freddie through mini jumping, 128’s and now 148’s! School is very much a priority but the majority of weekends throughout the summer are spent ‘camping’ at either a pony show or watching Dad sweat it out with the horses! Lena as well as being a busy mum also finds time to teach clients during the week.

History

James is one of Britain's most respected show jumpers both at home and abroad. His success stretches back to the time he was jumping small ponies and his first taste of glory was on Cusop Dainty Boy in the 13-2hh Championship of Great Britain.

In 1983 James made his International debut as part of the victorious young riders team in Donaueshingen, Germany and since that time has been a regular member of the senior British Team making 25 Nations Cup appearances.

After winning the World Cup qualifier in Geneva (Bowriver Queen) and his first Volvo car, James went on to claim the Grand Prix at the Horse of the Year Show in London and his consistently strong team of horses collected many wins and results at subsequent International 5* shows.

This was followed by a four year contract with the highly successful Traxdata team (Peter Charles, Tim Stockdale) which gave James recognition and respect as one of Britain’s leading showjumpers and culminated in his selection for the World Championship squad in Rome 1998.

The ensuing years brought continued success but also a gradual shift towards buying and producing younger horses with the ability to reach the high level of the sport that James had experienced in his career. Nowadays although International shows are still on the calendar the majority of competitions are mainly on home soil - with the developing interests of his two children in the farm and ponies this slight change in direction and diversification into other areas of the sport has created new and different challenges for the future.

James and Bowriver Queen, World Cup Qualifier CSI (W) Olympia, London

MEMORABLE HORSES AND ACHIEVEMENTS

RENVILLE

1998 – 1st Grand Prix Mauberge (Fra)
1998 – 1st Grand Prix Oslo (Nor)
1997 – 1st Grand Prix Linz (Austria)
1997 – 1st Grand Prix Oslo (Nor)
1997 – 1st Nations Cup Modena (Italy)

BOWRIVER QUEEN

1996 – 1st Grand Prix Horse of the Year Show London
1994 – 1st World Cup Qualifier Geneva (Switz)
1993 – 1st Grand Prix Eindhoven (Hol)

MONTERREY

1993 – 1st Speed Horse of the Year London
1992 – 1st Grand Prix Jouey en Josas (Fra)
1991 – 1st Benelux Championship (Bel)

TIP TOE

1996 – 1st Nations Cup Modena (Italy)
1994 – 1st Speed Horse of the Year London

GG BAROCK

2000 – 1st Derby Trial Hickstead

IDLE DICE

2005 – 1st Suffolk Team Trial
2004 – 1st Derby Trial Hickstead
2003 – 1st Grand Prix Vejer de la Frontera (Spain)

HASTY EXIT

1986 – Leading rider/horse in Rome
1985 – 1st Grand Prix Royal Windsor
1985 – 2nd Falsterbo (Swe) and 1st Snr Nations Cup Team

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