A-list riders are expected to join the line-up at this year’s the Liverpool International Horse Show but this year, spectators may find themselves rubbing shoulders with another sporting celeb. None other than 20 times Champion Jockey, AP McCoy who is coming along with all the family. In an interview ahead of the show, here’s what he said about his new role in life.
“I was told I had to be in Liverpool by the 30th December by my daughter Eve. It just shows you how things change in your life when you start getting bossed around by your eleven year old daughter” says AP.
Now retired from National Hunt racing, despite being one of the greatest figures in sporting history, these days, he finds himself “being dragged to shows and mucking out ponies!”
Eve who is an avid young showjumper and clearly a chip off the old block, will be competing in the mini-major competition, together with a number of young riders competing alongside celebrity showjumpers. The mini major will feature approx. 14 pairs of kids paired up with top professionals all in fancy dress. Previous pros that have competed in this class include the very fast GB rider Matt Sampson, John Whitaker and the UK’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick. The class will be the feature of the afternoon performance on Sunday 30th December.
“Eve is mad excited about going to Liverpool and I was told I had to be there so I’m flying back from Leopardstown especially” says AP. “She really loves competing and she’s got plenty of bottle which you can’t teach a kid. I see certain traits in her as I have – she’s not a great loser and she gets upset with herself. Even when it goes wrong or I shout at her, she comes back for more. No matter how much a parent gives their kids they can’t give them nerve and desire, that has to come from within. You can feed it and nurture it but at the end of the day it has to come from the kid.”
AP talks about the importance of having sporting idols and watching those riders in order to improve. For Eve, Nick Skelton is her hero.
“I took her and a friend up there last year and Nick and Laura Kraut gave them a riding lesson. For her, it was the best thing ever, she was more interested in him than she was in me.”
The whole McCoy family will go to the Liverpool International Horse Show, which consists of Eve and her younger brother Archie, plus AP and mum Chanelle.
“We’ve planned the Christmas around it” says an excited Chanelle. “We have no expectations, Eve does of course. But I think it’s a brilliant experience for kids to feel the pressure of the big day when they are young. It really prepares you for later in life and when you do go into the working world, it helps if you know those emotions already.
“She’s very conscious of impressing her dad which is nice but we had to sack AP as an instructor because of that clash of personality” she laughs. “AP and I were very relaxed as to whether she was into ponies or not, it had to be something that came from her but she really loves it and she wants to be the best. It’s lovely that she is so ambitious. It must be in her DNA that she is not satisfied just taking part, she wants to win.”
“Nick Skelton is her hero, she once asked me if Nick was too old for her to marry. She was so in awe of him when she went up for a lesson. She had lots of questions for him and I thought well isn’t it great that she’s got an icon like Nick rather than some social media influencer.”
Chanelle talks about the differing emotions she feels when watching her daughter show jump in comparison with watching AP race.
“Watching Eve, I feel excited. With AP it was a different emotion because with being a jump jockey, injury was very much part of the course, so you’re always worried. Watching my daughter showjumping is so enjoyable and I get quite emotional when she does well.”
“Even though I don’t miss AP riding because I’m so grateful that he has retired in one piece and he doesn’t have any severe injuries but I think we would miss the buzz if we had nothing. Whereas now, there is not a nicer weekend for me than when we load up the lorry and head off to show.”
To book tickets and for further information visit www.liverpoolhorseshow.com
All performances are suitable for young children, and accessible seating is available by contacting the Echo Arena.
VIP Hospitality and Private Boxes are available for all sessions. All enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org