Monday, 10 January 2011

The Man Behind The Mike

Mike Tucker's voice will probably be more familiar to you than his face, so much so that I've struggled to find a photograph of the man. As far as horse sport on TV goes, Mike Tucker is the voice behind it all, commentating on everything from Badminton Horse Trials to the Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia, and 4 Olympic Games so far - he's covered it all. This is a man that can effortlessly hold court on any subject, serious or frivolous, and leave you smiling at his charm, intellect and wit. Once you get to know him, commentary seems such an obvious vocation for Mike, yet belies the breadth of his talents.

Our paths have crossed several times over the last decade, at Badminton, during his time at British Eventing, and at a host of other places along the way. Earlier last week I spent some time with Mike sat by the fire at his family farm in the Cotswolds, and I was surprised at how much I'm still learning about the man behind the mike.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Where's Your Head At?

I try not to "bang the drum" too much (except maybe when it comes to ridiculous bibs), but I've been quite impressed by the momentum that the Riders4Helmets campaign has gathered over the last few months.

This coming weekend they are holding a symposium in Florida (a wise location, given the weather!).

I must also confess to having previously been complacent about wearing a riding hat sometimes when working on the flat, until a friend suffered a horrific accident, being bowled over by a horse whilst on the ground, and requiring 7 hours of surgery to place 2 metal plates in his head and the need to rebuild his eye socket! Since then I have always worn a hat whilst riding, no matter how well I know my own horse.

Anyway, I have nothing intelligent to add to what Riders4Helmets already say about their campaign. So all I can do is encourage you to visit their website, support the symposium, and at the very least, wear your riding hat every time you climb in the saddle!