Show Jumping’s Minimum Weight Rule
Before 1996, international jumpers were required to carry 165 pounds, so many riders needed to use lead weight pads under the saddle, as are still used in racing. Some lighter women who needed to add a lot of lead had to get creative: Michele (McEvoy) Grubb had special attachments filled with buckshot made for Sundancer’s breastplate in addition to having weight pads under her saddle and on the girth. With all that extra equipment, they won the American Invitational twice and international classes at the National Horse Show and all over Europe in the early 1970s.
Show Jumping Hall of Famers Mary Chapot had a girth sewn with pockets for the lead to distribute the weight, and Kathy Kusner rode in a saddle with mercury inserts—which worked well until one of the inserts broke open!
Photo credit: Bob Foster