Sunday 21st of July 2024
Pro Secrets

Jay ‘Tiger’ Halim

 

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(c) Equipics

 

Cirencester based Show jumper and Producer, Jay ‘Tiger’ Halim talks to The Gaitpost about his rides at Arena UK last week, his long term hopes for the sport and who he is taking to HOYS. He also gives us some camel riding tips, has a message for Strictly and reveals his lucky pre-ring ritual!

 

 

How was Arena UK?
I had a very good week at Arena UK, thank you.  Goodman for Fun, my top horse, had some good placings in the big classes, and sadly just missed qualifying for the International classes at HOYS. Goodman Acobado jumped his first Puissance and got to the 4th round, which was just under 2 metres and secured our place in the Puissance at HOYS on the Saturday night, which will be live on Sky Sports.

 

My next horse, Abrisco, who we are taking to HOYS, jumped a very good round and won the Arena UK Speed Derby, which was a very good warm up for next week.
 
My young horses did well too.  I have a very exciting 6 year old stallion called Derby and he jumped clear in two of the 6 yr old classes. He showed great potential and is an exciting future prospect for me.
 
I also took a 4 year old homebred called Candy King. He did the 4 year old classes and it was a really good educational week for him. –Each day he got better and better and it was really beneficial for his future as I felt he turned a corner with his maturity.  So over all a very good but long week !

 

Who are you taking to Horse Of the Year Show?
Abrisco is jumping in the Speedy Beat Grade C Final. I’ve had him on the yard for a year now.  His owners had produced him from a 3 year old and he started his life as an event horse, but his talent is show jumping. Within a year I’ve taken him from 1.10m to 1.50m and he has won good classes, nationally and internationally.  He is a fantastic horse for my string as he loves to win.  He’s almost me in horse form… he’s ballsy and absolutes thrives on the job. 

 

Abrisco is coming on to the market and I really want him to stay on the yard.  He has a lot of potential and it would be amazing if we can secure his future at this yard by putting together a syndicate or finding an owner to buy him outright so that he can stay with me.
 
He is always competitive and versatile and is definitely one to watch.  The nice thing is that every time he steps up to a new level, he does it with ease and it has never been a waiting game for him to deliver.  It is so hard to find owners and it is so frustrating that I can’t find people to invest in me.  I feel that I have a lot to offer: I’m very sociable and approachable and yet find it so frustrating as not coming from a horsey background (I’m grew up on a council estate in Essex), some doors are harder to open than others. When you enter the ring we are all on a level playing field and have to clear the fences!
 
I am very lucky that I have got some amazing sponsors this year and it is wonderful having their support.
 
In as much as I am really, really lucky to be where I am today, it is because I have gone out and got it.  If anyone is reading this and would like to have a chat, or come and visit the yard, please do.

 

But back to your question about HOYS, I am also taking Goodman Acobado and we will be jumping the Puissance.
 
I’m really sad that I didn’t qualify for the week of jumping or any of the International classes on Goodman for Fun as he has been jumping well but there are only 4 qualifying slots and I missed out.

 

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(c) Maria Wynne

Dare we ask about the camels at Bolesworth?! What advice can you give a virgin camel rider?
Well I myself was, until recently, a virgin camel rider, but I decided to take it by the hump and ride it for everything I had! This basically meant I had to kick and flap like some native Apache Indian whooping on top of the camel.  But I did win ! 
 
Bolesworth was the best show that I have ever been to. It is held at the home of and is the brain child of my great friend Nina Barbour.  She was trying to create top level show jumping, which she did very well.  The whole hospitality side was fantastic and camel racing was put on for some evening entertainment and it definitely got the party started.  

 

IMG_2202Where does Tiger come from?
The nickname Tiger came from one of my closest friends Laura Tomlinson.  One day she called me The Tiger and it has stuck ever since.  I’ve even had it put on my grooming box!

  

What or who inspires you within the equestrian world? Past and present.  
I am inspired by an awful lot of people as I love the dressage and eventing sides of the sport even though I show jump.
 
As long as I can ride at top level, I would ride at any discipline as I love all equestrian sport. However, anyone at the top equestrian level is worthy of our respect and the one thing I love about the sport is that there are many ways of doing it: producing, riding etc and that is what makes it a great sport.

 

There are so many riders with different techniques and ways of doing things that inspire me.  I can sit and watch people in the warm up and learn so much as this is a sport where there are an awful lot of talented people and we are always learning.

 

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(c) Julian Portch

Is there an all time favourite competition that you’ve been to? And why?
It has to be Bolesworth and Hickstead.
 
Bolesworth was really special, it has been running a few years now and this year it really stepped up to the mark.  What is so lovely is because Nina is such a good friend, the atmosphere was very special. Everyone wants it to be  successful for her.
 
With regard to Hickstead, there is no better feeling than riding in the Internartional Arena there!
 
When I was eventing I loved Gatcombe…the feel, vibe and atmosphere were all incredible and riding into the Bowl, down the hill, where there were always swarms of people always made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and even thinking about it now does too!

  

Which country in your opinion does equestrian best? And why?
That goes without saying,  the UK. We have the world No. 1 in show jumping, eventing and dressage.
 
It frustrates me so much that we are so great at the equestrian disciplines and they are so rarely celebrated in the national news or covered live on TV.  It was a big moment this weekend when Horse & Country TV showed the Grand Prix live from Arena UK and I also had my commentating debut.  Let’s hope more channels follow suit.
 
Charlotte Dujardin has done something that no one has ever done before and yet it is such small news for our media.  I am really passionate about all the equestrian disciplines but I think the sport as a whole needs a big revamp…better people promoting the sport to the media. The Olympics was a wasted opportunity and I believe riders need to become more ‘celebrity’ based to in order to get more recognition for the sport. We need a rider on Strictly.
 
How many famous horse riders are there outside of what we do? Many will know Frankie Dettori and he has a great personality and worked the press well but I do think we need some riders need to get into that celebrity role.  The perception that we are all rich kids with nothing else to do, needs to change. We need to get away from the stereotypes.  We aren’t all like that ! That sounds awful but it is true.

 

And if you look at the recent news about teams entering the Global Champions Tour next year, there are a lot of positives to take from this but I have concerns that the sport will become more elitist and make it harder for people like me.

 

What would you like your legacy to be?
Jay ‘Tiger’Halim was the man that did it more than once !

 

 

What, in your opinion, is the best breed or mix of breeds for Show Jumpers?
I think there is a lot of fashionable breeding going on at the moment but the bottom line is they have got to have the heart to want to do it.  The horses have to want it as much as the riders.

 

IMG_7744Do you have an equestrian hero?
John Whitaker is my all time hero. His posters were on my bedroom wall when I was a kid and to compete against him now is incredible.

 

At Arena UK, Horse & Country TV aired the Grand Prix live and I was jumping in it but also commentating.  I said that I had found an old autograph book recently with a photo of me with John Whitaker taken when I was a lot younger. There are not many sports where you can compete against your heroes and I am! People like JW have been at the top of their game for many years on many different horses and I don’t think people necessarily appreciate how hard it is to be at the top for so long.

 

What is the quality that you most like in a horse?
The fight to want to win

  

Do you have a favourite horse – past or present and why?
Goodmans for Fun, is, I think the horse I should have had a long time ago. I think we are a really really good match and our paths crossed along time ago.  It’s an ironic story but he is 17 now, but when he was 4 or 5, he was produced locally and I used to see him at local shows and always loved him.  He was sold on to Richard Davenport, won a couple of 5* Grand Prix on him and was then and sold on to Jen Goodman, who owns him now.  I’ve know him the whole way through and I have ended up having him in my yard!  He was the horse that 10 years ago you would have cut your arm off to have and I believe we were always meant to be together and I’m glad it has happened now at the end of his career.

 

Also I think some horses are meant to be with riders and Abrisco is meant to be with me

 

Another very exciting horse I have is VIP who is currently sidelined at the moment but I love him to bits and Derby is definitely the best horse I have ever ridden

  

Strictly Come DancingIf you weren’t a professional Show Jumper, what would you be doing?
After my commentating debut on H&C TV for the Arena UK Grand Prix, I think I would be looking for my own chat show if I wasn’t riding!  I would have loved to have been a singer or actor. I love music…I would love to be on Strictly ! Put me on Strictly !

 

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?  Who gave it to you?
I can’t remember who told me but it is to make as many friends on your way up as you will meet them all again on the way down.  

  

What would be your message to the equestrian world?
Vote for me on Strictly ! Eye of the Tiger !

 

 

Do you have a secret superstition before a competition?
Not really but I always kiss my horse on the neck before I go in to the ring.

 

What are your top indispensable pieces of kit?
1. Albion saddles are great and I love the balance of them on the horse. I am actually helping them rejig a design which is exciting

 

2. Eurostar clothing as it is comfortable and fashionable. I started to work with them during the development of the Spring/Summer 2015 range and they liked my idea for a new style of men’s breeches so they have named the new style “Jay” and they will be available in the spring next year. 

 

3. NAF products:  my horses are on a range of their supplements and they are valuable to their dietary needs
 
4. Saracen horse feeds keep all my horses in fantastic condition
 
5. A good horsebox!  I am currently using my owners Oakley Supremacy, which is incredible but I have an old truck and it is in desperate need of an upgrade
 
6. My Uvex riding hat is comfortable, stylish and safe and looks great with the matching sunglasses
 
7. Not forgetting Grey Goose vodka…I never leave home without it!

  

 

Against The Clock…

 

HOYS or Olympia?
I have never competed at both but Olympia because it’s at Christmas

 

Sand or Snow?
Sand

 

33865011_0_640x640Tea or G&T?
Vodka with bitter lemon (has to be Grey Goose)

 

Bay or grey?
Grey 100%

 

Jilly Cooper or Dick Francis ?
Jilly Cooper

 

 

Keep up to date with Jay’s news on Twitter @JayTigerHalim.  If you are interested in any of his horses or possibly a syndicate, give him a call on 07979 550180

 

We hope you enjoyed our interview with Jay. Keep up to date with future Pro Secrets guests by hearing about them first – simply LIKE our Facebook page and follow The Gaitpost on Twitter. Just click the social media buttons on the left hand side of this page (you may need to scroll up a bit).

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Enjoy!

 

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