Sussex Equestrian Couple Amy Inglis & Michael Duffy Chat To Us

Sussex Equestrian Couple Amy Inglis & Michael Duffy Chat To Us

Thank you Amy and Michael for agreeing to chat to us as we know working with horses keeps you busy! For those Absolute readers that dont know very much about showjumping can we start the interview with a little background on you both?

When did you first sit on a horse and when did you first jump?
A&M – Both of us were first put on a horse around the age of three and neither of our parents wasted much time in putting us towards our first jump!

Being both born into equine families was this a natural progression for  you  in terms of career or did you think of doing something else at one stage?
Again both of us grew up surrounded by horses and both always wanted to ride. I (Amy) was brought up in Sussex and Michael is from Ireland – his father is International course builder Paul Duffy so from an early age he was travelling around the bigger circuits and being involved in the glamorous world of showjumping.

What are the different stages of showjumping for our pony loving readers?
For seniors the levels are:
British Novice: This class is for novice horses and the start height is 90cm.
Discovery: This class is for horses that have accumulated less than 225 points and the start height is 100cm.
Newcomers: This class is for horses that have won less than 325 points and has a start height of 110cm.
Foxhunter: This class is for horses that have won less than 700 points and has a start height of 120cm.

What have been your major achievements to date and what are the hopes for 2021/22?
Achievements for Amy….
Children on Horses  European team gold
Ponies  3 European gold medals, 1 silver
Young riders European team gold, Individual bronze
National under 18 and under 21 champion
Hermes Grand Priz Paris
La Baule 5 star Nations Cup and 4th GP La Baule

Youngest ever National Champion
Young rider team Bronze
Global Champions team winner
Global champions GP 3rd

And we have high hopes for 21/22 which include 5 star Grand Prix and European championships for me (Amy) and the Olympics for Michael

How many horses do you currently both have and where are they stabled?
We each have ten horses which are stabled at Broxmead Farm. We live on site and have a fantastic team behind us that include a rather large pig and a shetland pony that rules everyone else…..

If possible to say do you have a favourite and if so why?
Amy: Probably Applause – he is homebred and that always carries something rather special I think. The bond we have is incredible – he is my rock.

We know showjumping has had huge investment in recent years from both Russia and the UAE which has massively raised the profile of the sport. Are you open to investors and what are the perks of buying a horse for you to train?
We are definitely open to investment …. either as an opportunity to invest in a showjumper to enjoy the sport (and amazing hospitality that goes hand in hand) and/or to enjoy the return a professionally produced showjumping horse can bring. I have a case study of a private owner that bought a horse for £40K and we sold produced at £1.3million – this shows the incredible investment in the sport of recent years.

I am guessing that even with the increased interest the sport is still a hard one to manage financially. Do you rely heavily on sponsors and input from them?
There is no hiding in this sport – from riding lessons up it is a transparently expensive sport! We are however incredibly lucky to have incredible sponsors (listed on instagram) and nowadays the returns top horses can now make if sourced and produced properly is vast.

Lastly when the world opens up again where is the best venue locally for people to view competitions?
Locally we have the incredible Hickstead which is brilliant for both hospitality and competing and for training we have Brendons in Pyecome. Both of these venues will be open to spectators at certain times of the year.