British Eventing president carries Olympic torch

Jane Holderness Roddam
Jane Holderness Roddam.

British Eventing president and gold medal winning Olympian Jane Holderness Roddam was a part of the Olympic Torch relay in Britain this week.

Holderness Roddam carried the torch through Shurdington during the Bristol to Cheltenham route on May 23.

The 64 year old from Chippenham was honoured to carry the flame, “I felt very flattered to be chosen to represent the horse world, and in particular the eventers. It was great fun and I thoroughly appreciated it.”

Holderness Roddam passed the torch to primary school teacher Emma Jenkinson. The flame went on later to a packed-out Cheltenham Racecourse where fellow British eventer Zara Phillips carried it aboard her World and European gold medal winning ride Toytown.

Phillips, who plans to keep the torch as a memento in her stable yard told The Telegraph, “It is unbelievable. Actually I am still shaking, it was an unbelievable experience. It was quite dodgy at the beginning, but we got there.”

So far thousands have flocked to catch a glimpse of the torch as it passes through their neighbourhoods and Shurdington was no exception, Holderness Roddam said: “There was a fantastic turn-out and buzz. People were even hanging out of trees and sitting on roof tops all the way through! There were so many people we couldn’t turn the bus around and had to drive on for an extra mile; everyone was so behind it.”

Holderness Roddam is particularly excited for this summer at Greenwich Park, “The build-up to an Olympics is an amazing time and it will certainly take me back 44 years to Mexico City.”

Confident in the British eventers and selectors Holderness Roddam acknowledged that 2012 has been a particularly difficult one for the sport in the UK.

“The weather has kiboshed so many people’s chances and one or two on the fringes won’t get to prove themselves in the same way. However, there were challenges in ’68 also as two of our riders had never ridden their horses in competition before! I’m sure the selectors will make the right choices and I wish them all the very best of luck.”






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