Now that show season is in full swing, it’s a fitting time to pay tribute to the unsung heroes: the catch riders. In this story from our March 2002 issue, writer Joanne Fox shares her guidelines for easing the stress for everyone involved … from making the match to remuneration. “Probably nothing strikes terror in an owner’s heart like the thought of giving up the security of the trainer upon whom they’ve depended all season long in exchange for a person they’ve never spoken to and worse yet, who has never seen their horse. For me, catch riding is fun … and best of all, a win-win situation. If the catch rider goes in and does well, he can feel proud to be able to do so well on a strange mount. On the other hand, if the catch rider goes in and fails, well, he didn’t train the horse. Ain’t my fault! The truth is, outside of these guidelines I really only have one personal rule about catch riding. Never catch ride a jumper! Otherwise, I’m game if you are!”

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