Stockdale proud to be an ambassador for MS Amlin

Tim-Stockdale_1280x430 (2)Tim Stockdale is one of the country’s best-known showjumpers and is sponsored by MS Amlin. He first came to know the group through MS Amlin’s Lead Underwriter Bloodstock, David Ashby, who heads up MS Amlin’s specialist worldwide horse insurance unit.

Tim said: “I met David through my vet. It was a breath of fresh air to get direct access to a top-level insurer that knew about the sport with a real depth of background knowledge.

“There are lots of advertisements for insurance in the equine world and they all look at the lower end of the market, but MS Amlin offer a service for the professional end of the market. I was very honoured to be asked to be part of the MS Amlin sponsored riders.

“The match is a good one. I have owners and own many horses myself so we need to have that depth of confidence. MS Amlin gives owners peace of mind and from my point of view that’s key.”

Tim suffered a horrendous accident at the end of 2011 when he sustained fractures to vertebrae in his neck after a fall at a small farm in Wales.

He said: “The only guarantee of not falling off a horse is not to get on one in the first place. My accident made me realize how one minute things can be going really well and within a moment they’re not. I’d just won an event in Calgary in front of 75,000 people and a week later looking at a ceiling in a hospital bed. I was very lucky, I was so close to the spinal unit in Oswestry and I was able to get the best help. It was a very close call.”

Tim first represented Great Britain in 1988. He has now represented his country on more than 50 occasions in Nations’ Cup teams including, the 2002 World Equestrian Games, the 2008 Olympic Games in China and the 2009 European Championships. In early 2010, he served as Chef d’Equipe for the victorious Great Britain team in Nations’ Cup contest in Abu Dhabi.

In recognition of his “outstanding services” to equestrian sport, Tim was presented with the British Equestrian Federation’s Medal of Honour at the British Open Show Jumping Championships in April, 2010. In 2006, he was awarded an Honorary Degree by Nottingham Trent University for services to equestrianism.

Tim’s yard is located in Roade, Northamptonshire. With the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit and Towcester Racecourse nearby, this is an area renowned for its sporting connections.

The 52-year has a real passion for what he does.

He said: “I genuinely love the sport but you have to keep at it. I was very lucky that I didn’t have any qualifications from school, I didn’t have any options other than to be a horse rider. If that didn’t work out I probably would have ended up driving a tractor or a lorry, which would have been fine, but that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I had to make it work as a horse rider – sometimes burning bridges makes you do it.

“In the past three weeks I have only had three days at home – the rest of the time I’ve been at shows. It’s hectic. The two horses I jumped at the big, five-star nations cups last year I have sold, so we are not competing at that level. We are now in a bit of a regroup and we are introducing two new horses at bigger shows. I hope that in the next three or four months we will be back competing in the top division.”

And it seems that showjumping is enjoying a significant rise in popularity and profile.

“It’s a vibrant marketplace out there at the moment. Our sport is seeing an embarrassment of riches. Horses are making money which is only ever normally seen in racehorses and flat racehorses at that. The £1m showjumper is a weekly affair and a £3m showjumper is sold every two or three weeks. It’s a global sport. With the quality of air travel horses are jumping in Miami one week and then Doha the next. Helsinki, Mexico, Shanghai – horses now go to these places on a regular basis whereas before you would have to plan such a trip weeks in advance.

“It’s also about the people it’s attracting, the Springsteens, the Gates’s– these sorts of people. In our sport money can get you a seat at the top table without having to serve an apprenticeship. If you can ride half-decent you can compete if you’ve got the right horse.

“I still want to produce good horses and ride them as well as I can. My focus is on producing horses and taking them to the marketplace. I love it.”

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