If you’re a horse person living in Australia and haven’t yet tuned in to Jump Off, I have two words for you: WATCH IT!!
Jump Off is a new reality series being broadcast on Seven Network and Racing.com. As the series progresses, we watch as five teams of trainers, riders and off-the-track Thoroughbreds compete to win $100,000. It was produced in partnership with Racing Victoria, Off The Track Thoroughbred and Showmakers Equestrian and aims to highlight the versatility of ex-racehorses and support positive ‘life after racing’ outcomes.
Sounds amazing, right?! Well it gets better! The teams are comprised of some of Australia’s best racehorse trainers and five champion Aussie showjumping riders.
This season’s trainers are David Hayes of Lindsay Park fame, Melbourne Cup-winning Darren Weir, multi-Group 1 winner Mick Price, jockey-turned-trainer Patrick Payne and James Cummings, head trainer for Godolphin Australia.
As for the riders, we’ve got three-time Olympian Vicki Roycroft, Australian Show Jumping Champion Jamie Kermond, former Australian Show Jumping Champion David Cameron and two more Olympians, Peter McMahon and Russell Johnstone.
Episodes 1 and 2 have already aired right around Australia to an audience of rapt horse lovers, thrilled to finally see equestrian content on mainstream television. Many, including the producers themselves, hope that the program’s success will pave the way for more horse-related programmes in the future. Executive Producer, Steve Dundon, remarked that ‘there is no equestrian content on television in Australia. It’s very popular overseas and there is an opportunity to showcase the sport to a broader market. Show jumping is very easy for the public to understand – you either knock a rail or you have time faults.’ Combining the popular and widespread sport of racing with the lesser-known but easy to grasp sport of showjumping certainly seems like a smart move. Add the chance to promote off-the-track futures for racehorses and some equestrian superstars into the mix and you’re onto a winner!
You can check your local broadcast times and keep up to date with Jump Off via the show’s Facebook page.
References: Jump Off.
Image credits: Jump Off.