Unfortunately yes, money play one of the most important roles in professional equestrian sport. And yes there are alternative ways to overcome fiancial issues BUT it is in no way a guarantee that you can reach goals and fulfil ambitions. As harsh as it sounds that's the reality. You need to be tremendously lucky that someone with money or horses will spot your talent and be willing to give you a chance. It's close to impossible due to the fact that when horses' price reaches certain level, people aren't willing to take a risk and give it to ride to someone they've not heard about. Same applies to money.
Hopefully new technology that connects the world through social media and livestreaming will allow young talented riders who are striving to find a pathway into the professional level to find a place in the sport based on their talent, rather than the wealth of their birth family...the horses and the sport will always need talented riders who have the gift of being able to get a tune out of any horse, and whilst hard work and dedication are major factors too, the fact remains in any sport that natural talent must be recognised early and nurtured and developed. For the sake of the horses.
If I understand what your are asking, I would answer yes to both. It is an expensive sport and making it without money requires hard work, dedication and savvy. I think sponsorship and creating strong relationships with the great people on all sides of the sport make the show jumping business a great place for hungry young professionals. The only recipe is that you have to love it. if so, there is a lot of opportunity for young pros now.