There are a lot of fundamental differences between the American system and the European system in show jumping. First and foremost, Europe is at the “Sale” side of the supply chain, whereas America is considered very much the “Retail” side of the supply chain when it comes to horse sales.
The trickle down effect of this fundamental difference is expansive. The sport has a larger following in Europe, so the overall culture of horse sport is more established in Europe. A larger percentage of the population know who won the last World Equestrian Games, so that creates a tone of understanding and respect around horse sport.
North America is still a growing country when it comes to building a culture around horse sport. You hear more people in North America say things like, “ya but the rider just sits there, the horse does all the work right?” - this reflects a culture that understands horse sport less and therefore kids growing up in horse sport grow up with a different overall feeling towards horse sport, from society’s perspective.
That is one of the reasons I started my platform, to bridge that gap between parts of the world that are well-established in horse sport and those that are not. To be able to champion the team work that exists between horse and rider which will help the larger mainstream audience in North America, for example, understand why horse sport is so awesome.
When it comes to horse shows and showing, there are more “modest” horse show opportunities in Europe. This supports the “sales” side of horse sport business in Europe. It is more economical to own a number of horses and ride as an amateur in many ways but that really comes down to your discipline. If you are a western rider, than showing in Europe is not more established.