John & Simon Crippen
International Show Jumping brothers John and Simon Crippen, based in Buckinghamshire, were born to the life with horses; father Ian is a respected horseman and showjumper, mother Karen has ridden and completed at affiliated level and is now the major support pillar for the boys.
Brothers John and Simon cannot remember a time when they didn't ride. "I was a member of the pony club at a very young age" said John "I took part in all the disciplines from Gymkhana to dressage". John admits that his least-liked discipline was dressage "I love show jumping so as soon as I could leave school, this became my life".
The brothers were selected for team events at a very young age with the then thirteen-year-old John being part of the Pony Club team that won the Pony Club National Show Jumping Finals. There were over one hundred teams which had already been whittled down from about a thousand original ones- John's first major achievement was jumping a double clear round at the finals.
Both brothers have enjoyed a successful career on ponies. Simon won the National Championship at the Royal Show and represented Great Britain abroad on Three in One whilst John's successes include third place in the pony Grand Prix at the Royal Show and second in the Pony of the Year Grand Prix over a very large and challenging track also on the 14.2hh coloured pony Three in One, who was both of the brothers' pony of a lifetime.
"He taught the boys a lot" said mother Karen "you had to ride him, he wasn't push button and had to be ridden well and accurately".
After moving onto horses the brothers continued their winning ways as young riders with John winning several Young Rider Award qualifiers and Simon being selected as a member of the seven strong lottery funded Young Rider International squad aimed at the European Championships.
It was a chance remark from father Ian that led to a meeting with Metsä Wood, supplier of the top brand Hunter Woodshavings. Simon was seen on TV jumping in the Hickstead Speed Derby and the family's obvious talent and commitment to the sport convinced Metsä Wood that the Crippen team were great candidates for sponsorship.
The brothers are regular winners on the county show circuit and have both had horses qualify for HOYS.